Grocer denies being a cereal offender
vegetables harvested in the morning and then delivered in the afternoon.’’
Farmers would have a chance to eat their own veggies, but only when they were harvested every 10 or 12 weeks. ‘‘In between time you’ll be getting Joe’s broccoli and Mary’s lettuces. It’s a real network of micro-farms.’’
The company has 52 preregistered customers and operates in only a handful of central and western Auckland suburbs but the plan was to make it a national company, he said.
‘‘This thing goes viral really, really quick. There’s a lot of love out there for the idea.’’
Farmster’s first delivery will be on April 25.
One of those who will be receiving a delivery is Mt Albert resident and mum-ofone Jenifer Silva, who said she became a ‘‘farmer’’ because she couldn’t keep on top of the weeds in her garden.
‘‘I don’t have any time to weed it, let alone look after it,’’ Silva said.
She offered a plot of about 100sqm which Mayson had turned into a cabbage and cauliflower crop field about a month ago. A long legal battle between cereal giant Sanitarium and a New Zealand-based British grocery shop is heading to court this year.
Sanitarium took issue with Lisa Wilson’s shop, A Little Bit of Britain, which operates in Riccarton, Kaiapoi and online, when it tried to import boxes of British breakfast cereal Weetabix.
The product is similar to Sanitarium’s Weet-Bix and Sanitarium says its name infringes its trademark.
The imports were stopped at the border and Wilson was told a High Court ruling was required to release them. A date for the hearing has been set for July 30.
Wilson said she had been asked for the names, addresses and nationalities of all the customers who had bought Weetabix from her. ‘‘We told them we thought that was irrelevant.’’
She said the legal fight had been an extra cost her small business didn’t need. ‘‘We’re standing our ground on principle because we feel we should be able to sell it in our shops.’’
In a written statement, Sanitarium said it had no choice but to defend its trademark.
‘‘We have worked hard to reach a resolution with A Little Bit of Britain and enter into an agreement similar to those we have in place with other Weetabix importers. Unfortunately, we have no other option than to seek a resolution through the courts.
‘‘Sanitarium Weet-Bix is an iconic Kiwi brand loved by thousands of Kiwis and one which we have a responsibility to protect.’’
Alex Sims, associate professor of commercial law at the University of Auckland business school, said Sanitarium was within its rights to try and keep its brand name from becoming generic.
‘‘If manufacturers want to have products that can be sold around the world, then they need to choose a name that does not describe the goods.’’
Farmster founder Ben Mayson says he takes care of all the soil preparation, planting and harvesting of vege plots.
Lisa Wilson has 360 boxes of cereal being held at the border.