An Oregon farm claims to have suffered $2.5 million in damages from planting an incorrect variety of strawberries sold by a nursery in California.
Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., has filed a federal complaint accusing Norcal Nursery of Red Bluff, Calif., of delivering nearly 1.6 million strawberry plants with “poor yield and inferior berry quality.”
The Oregon farm claims it ordered the Tillamook variety of strawberries and accepted six shipments of plants from the California nursery in 2016 and 2017, for which it paid about $167,000.
Whereas the Tillamook cultivar is “ideally suited” to Oregon’s climate and produces “high yields of large, well-shaped, richly colored excellent flavored berries,” the plants from Norcal were “inconsistent” with these attributes, the complaint said.
Genetic testing confirmed the strawberries were of another, unnamed variety that Townsend had to plow under and replace with the correct cultivar, the complaint said.
“Further, as a result of the low yield, inferior quality and loss of growing cycles, Townsend Farms has incurred lost profits that would have resulted from the sale of its strawberries,” according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges that Norcal violated its contract, breached an express warranty and acted negligently in shipping the strawberries, causing damages of at least $2.5 million.
Capital Press was unable to reach a representative of Norcal Nursery as of press time.