Food Law Weekly News Roundup 3/8

Disputed claims by Grocery Associations against Seattle for Hazard Pay Ordinance 

In response to Seattle’s request that Washington federal court drop a lawsuit regarding the city’s pandemic pay hazard pay ordinance, two Grocery associations urged the court not to grant the motion to dismiss. Seattle claims the law lacks a legitimate connection to protecting workers and the public, but the grocery associations argue the ordinance singles out certain workers while excluding other employees who may be at higher  risk, leading to a violation of federal and state equal protection requirements. The disputed Hazard Pay Ordinance grants a $4 hourly wage increase to workers at grocery stores of certain sizes. The grocery associations argue it  was not imposed on an “even-handed basis” as it applies only to certain employers (grocers dedicating sufficient area on sales floors to groceries and employing 500 or more grocery workers worldwide).

Costco, Marshalls, and Gold Coffee Roasters settle with Hawaiian Coffee farmers regarding false labeling

Costco, Marshalls, and Gold Coffee Roasters settle with Hawaiian Coffee farmers regarding false labeling 

Costco, Marshalls, and Gold Coffee Roasters reached a settlement agreement in response to a proposed class action suit by Hawaiian coffee farmers regarding claims of ordinary coffee being sold as “Kona.” This mislabeling violates the Lanham Act’s ban on false designations of origin. While 2.7 million pounds of coffee in grown in the Kona region each year, over 20 million pounds are labeled “Kona” which harms true Kona farmers. 

Gold Coffee Roasters agreed to pay over $6 million to over 600 farmers and to fix the labels to meet Hawaii’s labeling laws. Costco  and Marshalls will not pay under their agreements, but will provide injunctive relief by updating their labels to meet guidelines and requiring all vendors to complete a certification process.



Food Law Weekly News Round Up 4/5

Starbucks reached an agreement with EEOC to settle allegations of bias in promotions Starbucks recently announced that it brokered an agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier to settle allegations of bias against minority workers in its...

read more

Food Law Weekly News Round Up 3/29

Federal Court Rules Hydroponic Produce can be Certified Organic On March 23rd the US District court for Northern California ruled the USDA can continue certifying hydroponic farming operations as organic under the National Organic Program. The Judge found the “USDA...

read more

Food Law Weekly News Round Up 3/22

Skippy Peanut Butter Producers Beat JIF Producers Peanut Butter Label Lawsuit  An Ohio federal judge dismissed J.M. Smucker Co.’s (JIF peanut butter producer) request for a declaratory ruling that it would not be infringing on the similarly colored labeling used by...

read more

Join Our Cause

We welcome others who share our mission to join us. Together, let’s change the law, make the food we eat healthier and improve the quality of life of all Americans.