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Okanagan company suing after BC Tree Fruits allegedly stiffed the bill

Sandhu Fruit Farms allegedly failed to get paid for packing BC Tree Fruits cherries in 2023

A Summerland company is claiming that the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative stiffed them on hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mangal Capital Inc., (Sandhu Fruit Farm), filed the claim in Kelowna court on Nov. 7 seeking $408,800 of unpaid bills, less the costs for the packaging material provided by BC Tree Fruits.

The claim alleges that BC Tree Fruits had made a deal with Mangal in November of 2022 to pack their cherries, store them and help ship them to their final destinations.

After finishing the packing season in July of 2023, Mangal sent BC Tree Fruits the invoice for the work. The invoices are, as of Nov. 7, still unpaid and thus collecting interest.

According to the claim, BC Tree Fruits has disputed the invoices since it was sent in August of 2023.

“Most recently it has alleged that Mangal did not have a CanadaGAP certificate, which allegedly impacted B.C. Tree Fruits’ ability to process cherries for the domestic and export market, ” reads the claim. “This is meritless purported justification to withhold payment.”

CanadaGAP certificates are issued to companies that produce or handle fruits and vegetables. According to Mangal’s claim, there was no part of the agreement that made mention of a CanadaGAP certificate or any other kind of certification being required.

The claim further notes that the agreement between the two left the specifics of the packing entirely up to Mangal, “with [BC Tree Fruits] being interested only in the results thereof.”

The company also points out that it continued to pack fruits for other customers who had no issues with Mangal not having a CanadaGAP certificate.

“Mangal has performed the services under the agreement and is now entitled to full payment,” reads the claim. “There is no justification for BC Tree Fruits’ continued refusal to provide payment.”

The company is claiming the $408,800 that it billed, plus $17,336 in interest and $20,440 in GST.

It was noted that the agreement included paying BC Tree Fruits for the packaging material, which amounted to $105,000 that Mangal issued as a credit.

No formal response has been filed yet by BC Tree Fruits in court and none of the allegations have been proven.

READ MORE: Cherry packing plant opens in Summerland with state-of-the-art equipment

Earlier in 2023 the two companies announced a new partnership towards packing cherries with the unveiling of a brand new state-of-the-art facility at the Sandhu Fruit Farm headquarters in Summerland.

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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