Gro­cer de­nies be­ing a ce­real of­fender

Sunday News - - NEWS - SUSAN ED­MUNDS

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.