Pogust Goodhead represents over 1,600 orange growers and former orange growers, 22 companies, and the Brazilian Association of Citrus Growers (Associtrus) against the Cutrale family for engaging in an unlawful cartel. Our orange juice claim aims to combat anti-competitive conduct in the orange juice market.
What is the orange juice claim about?
The Cutrale family are alleged to have created a monopoly in the markets in Brazil for the acquisition of oranges and the production of frozen concentrated orange juice, thereby controlling the process and volumes of orange juice exported to the international market.
Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice in the world. The Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) found in 2018 that the world’s largest orange juice processors engaged in collusive cartel behaviour to gain control of the market to reduce the selling price of oranges, damaging thousands of independent orange producers since the 1980s.
Many producers have been pushed out of the industry and the remaining independent farmers were forced to accept the cartel’s harsh terms for buying their produce, which led to great financial losses.
In 2016, the Cutrale family admitted to engaging in illegal anti- competitive practices between 1999 and 2006 and were made to pay an administrative fine of more than £70 million. The cartel controlled the prices and volume of orange juice being exported to the international market, leaving farmers and small businesses economically and emotionally devastated.
None of the victims of this cartel were compensated as they should have been. Victims had tried to seek redress in Brazil with little success. Representatives of the victims decided to press on with the case and approached a third-party litigation funder in Sao Paulo, Brazil seeking assistance to lodge the claim overseas.
Due to the Cutrale family’s extensive connections to the United Kingdom, we were able to successfully argue for the case to be heard in the Courts of England and Wales.
What is the current status of the orange juice claim?
Pogust Goodhead and the claimants are currently in the process of seeking justice in the UK courts in the landmark orange juice litigation. In the case’s most recent update, in July 2023, a court rejected an attempt by the Cutrale family to stop 1,350 of our claimants seeking justice.
They attempted to get approximately 85% of our claimants struck out. However, the judge has determined that an overwhelming majority can proceed.