Comunicado de prensa

October 3rd, 2017

Since 2016, Congelados y Jugos Valle Verde S.A., Del Valle Verde Corp S.A., and L y L Proyectos MMV S.A., (the “Valle Verde Companies”), have been targeted in a smear campaign engineered by their competitors, including VLM Foods, Inc.’s partner Compañía Frutera La Paz S.A. (“La Paz”) and La Paz’s Business Development Manager, Olman Briceño, who spanned multiple countries in their efforts to undermine the Valle Verde Companies.

While the efforts of the conspirators—which included making false allegations against the Valle Verde Companies to the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture; masquerading as delegates of Costa Rica’s National Organic Commission to procure a meeting with the USDA NOP, in an effort to undermine the Valle Verde Companies; and contacting Valle Verde’s customers with claims that its organic accreditation status in Costa Rica was at risk -based on an ultimately discredited document by Resolution DFSE 22-2016 on December 23, 2016 following a detailed investigation by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Presumably as a result of the conspirators’ efforts in the United States, the USDA NOP undertook an investigation of the Valle Verde Companies. On August 3, 2017, the NOP’s Compliance and Enforcement Division sent out a Complaint Closure Notice, formally closing the investigation into the Valle Verde Companies. In its written notice, the NOP noted that “our investigation did not confirm the allegations against…Congelados y Jugos del Valle Verde S.A.” The NOP also noted that “[i]nspections conducted by [Kiwa BCS] and Primus Labs determined there was no evidence of
nonorganic pineapple being sold as organic” and “the Costa Rican government’s investigations determined that the investigation was flawed and rescinded the notice of suspension it had issued to Del Valle Verde.”

While the Valle Verde Companies have finally been vindicated, as they knew they would be, the malicious actions of its competitors have caused significant financial and reputation damage. In an effort to redress these wrongdoings and hold those involved responsible, Congelados y Jugos Valle Verde S.A. has commenced litigation against various conspirators, including La Paz and its managers Olman Briceño and Luisa Chacón. The Valle Verde Companies anticipate additional lawsuits will follow. Additionally, the Valle Verde Companies intend to continue their cooperation with officials in both the United States and Costa Rica to ensure that the egregious acts carried out by their competitors are properly addressed, adequately remedied, and the wrongdoers are justly punished to ensure such issues never happen again.

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