A judge has ordered the Kraft Heinz Co. to provide a meat processor with thousands of pounds of turkey twice a week for the rest of the year, in spite of the fact that the company was forced to cut its turkey production because of the avian influenza outbreak. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. McInerney granted a restraining order and preliminary injunction ordering Kraft Heinz to provide Mrs. Ressler’s Food Products with 36,000 pounds of fresh turkey breast meat twice a week for the duration of the parties’ 2015 contract.
Kraft Heinz had notified the Mrs. Ressler’s that the avian flu outbreak forced it to reduce sales of turkey breast to the company by 10 percent. In September, the Kraft Heinz said that it would have to suspend all sales of breast meat indefinitely. Kraft Heinz argued that there was no immediate threat to the company, but Mrs. Ressler’s claimed that it was using the outbreak as an excuse to break its contract. Mrs. Ressler’s had to discontinue several of its turkey products due to the lack of supply.
“The result is a brazen attempt by Kraft to force Mrs. Ressler’s out of the market for finished turkey products — and out of business entirely — by completely withholding the raw turkey breast meat it had committed to sell Mrs. Ressler’s for no more than $2.70 per pound over the course of 2015, and, instead, using that raw turkey meat for both its own competing products and selling it to others on the open market where the price has soared to approximately $5.70 per pound,” according to the complaint filed by Jonathan Scott Goldman of Blank Rome.