Agriculture

Assemis score another early win over Wonderful in Fresno-based pistachio case

Fresno Superior Court Judge Kimberly Gaab issued a 6-page ruling against the Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds company on Thursday saying the company, “engaged in unfair conduct that significantly harmed or threatened to harm competition in the (pistachio) industry.”

A lawsuit brought by Assemi Brothers, LLC. alleges Wonderful threatened to not only harm their pistachio growing business, but to harm or threaten competition in the pistachio industry as a whole.

The suit states that Wonderful is the dominant player in the California pistachio processing market as it processes more than 60 percent of all pistachios in California – nearly four times more than the next largest processor.

Wonderful sets its prices first every year and its competitors then use that pricing as a benchmark.

According to court documents, “Wonderful’s President Stewart Resnick has stated that pistachios are far and away the most profitable nut in the tree nut industry, and that these high returns are not sustainable in a ‘normal’ case.”

The suit goes on to say Wonderful claims the high profits are dependent on keeping the pistachio market different from other tree nut markets and on them retaining a market share of over 60 percent and exercising control over the industry with no new entrants.

Here’s more from Jim Jakobs at GVWire.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.