The billionaire owners of Fiji Water, whose greenwashing we covered last year, are in the courts again, but not for resisting Fijian taxes. This time, they're busy trying to squash a David who's making trouble for their Goliath pistachio business. As the Associated Press reports, Persian immigrant Ali Amin is suing Fiji Water's CEOs, Lynda and Stuart Resnick, for illegally making money off of their taxpayer-funded water reservoir:
As drought has hammered the region, leading farmers to abandon their dry fields, the Resnicks' 48% stake in the Kern Water Bank, and underground pool that stores billions of gallons of freshwater, has become increasingly valuable... Amin's lawsuit alleges he lost $22 million in revenue when growers lured by water supplies sold their nuts to the Resnicks' plant, which processes almost two-thirds of the nation's pistachios. Amin controls about 5 percent of the market.
After Amin's suit was filed, two of Resnick's companies filed a federal suit in Los Angeles against Amin, his processing plant and his agricultural consultant, alleging Amin's plant engaged in false advertising that Resnick's companies to suffer up to $15 million in damages. 'There are very jealous people out there,' Lynda Resnick said. 'But we usually win because we have such good in-house counsel.'
That's Lynda Resnick for you, always direct. Although I'm surprised she has such "good in-house" counsel as she's tweeted our groundbreaking 2009 investigation (which I fact-checked) was "a load of lies and misconceptions" and a "total fabrication": both statements could easily be considered slander. Another priceless quote, from the article excerpted above: "We've done more for the pistachio than anyone ever since it was planted in the Garden of Eden... My husband should be canonized for all the work he's done." Yes, canonized, for processing nuts. Oy. The Resnicks may not mind making extravagant statements, but they do seem to notice some bad publicity. Their latest ad for POM Wonderful pomegranate juice is being quickly pulled after Chicago residents expressed concern. The "concern" being that the bottle has a noose around its neck, reminding many residents of, well, nooses which were used for things other than tying bottles of juice. With their pomegranates, pistachios, and mandarin oranges, the Resnicks may be agribusiness giants, but their trees certainly bear some strange fruit.