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Trouble over strawberries

A British grower of soft fruits and a Dutch supplier of soft fruit plants have a quarrel with each other.

In 2014 both parties entered a purchase agreement for the supply of strawberry plants. The order consisted of 500,000 mini tray Gragaria Elsante and 190,000 normal tray Fragaria Elsante for the total amount of € 243,080.

The strawberry grower paid an advance of € 60,770, after which the supplier delivered 500,000 mini tray Fragaria Elsante ex works. After settlement of the advance, the grower still had to pay an amount of € 99,972. The supplier sent an invoice, but payment remained forthcoming.

Crown rot
The British grower does not dispute having entered into a purchase agreement, but claims shortcomings of the plant supplier. After delivery the plants stayed small, and suffered from crown rot. The British company had the plants checked by ADAS. The advisory organisation determined that the plants indeed suffered from crown rot.

The Dutch company does not agree with the accusations made by the British grower. The company had the plants tested prior to delivery by Naktuinbouw. The plants were approved and released for shipment. Furthermore, the company refers to the fact the plants have been delivered ex works, which means that the risk transferred to the buyer on the relevant delivery date. The fact that the plants did not bloom properly has, according to the supplier, different causes which cannot be ascribed to them. A substantial part of the plants had been stored irresponsibly long in trailers before planting. The Dutch company furthermore is of the opinion that the ADAS report is unreliable and states that the British grower did not complain in a timely fashion.

The court orders both parties to supply all items of evidence. The court will consider the matter on March 14. 

Read the entire decision here. (In Dutch)


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