A Pennsylvania judge has ordered the Kraft Heinz Food Company to provide meat processor Mrs. Ressler’s Food Products with 36,000 pounds of fresh turkey breast meat twice a week for the remainder of the 2015 contract earlier signed by the two companies.
Kraft Heinz had notified Mrs. Resslers that it had to reduce its sales of turkey breast because of shortages brought on by the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, reported the Post-Gazette. However, Mrs. Resslers argued that Kraft Heinz was using avian influenza as an excuse to not honor its contract.
Court documents state that Mrs. Ressler’s and Kraft entered a contract in late 2014 that stated Kraft would provide more than 4 million pounds of turkey breast meat throughout 2015. The deal was reached before Kraft was purchased by H.J. Heinz and the Kraft Heinz Food Company was formed.
In May, according to court documents, Kraft asked Mrs. Ressler’s if it would consider selling back some of the raw turkey breast, but company officials refused. Later that month, Kraft notified H&H Trading, the company that had brokered the deal, that it was reducing its delivery of turkey breast because of the avian influenza situation.
The complaint stated that Kraft promised to make up the deliveries at a later date. However, in September, Kraft Heinz told H&H that it would be suspending all sales of breast meat indefinitely, court papers said.
Mrs. Ressler’s contended it had to notify customers that it couldn’t supply them with finished turkey products, and without that supply from Kraft Heinz, Mrs. Ressler’s could face as much as a 25 percent loss of business. Mrs. Ressler’s also had to discontinue at least six lines of turkey products, court documents stated.
The ruling was made by Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. McInerney.