ML Macadamia Orchards, L.P. (NYSE:NUT) was awarded a summary judgment decision Monday (4 June) in support of claims against its exclusive customer, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation. The dispute resulted from Mauna Loa’s refusal to pay for nuts in accordance with the terms of various nut purchase contracts that had been in effect between the parties for almost 15 years. The court ruled that Mauna Loa had wrongfully deducted and withheld more than $1 million in payments due to ML Macadamia Orchards (MLMO) since October of last year. It is not yet known whether Mauna Loa will appeal the decision.
The ruling, by Judge Greg Nakamura in the Third Circuit Court of Hilo, reaffirms past payment practices with regard to certain MLMO contracts. It may also serve as a precedent for numerous other Hawaiian growers that have similar nut purchase arrangements and disputes with Mauna Loa. “This decision is a victory for all Hawaiian macadamia growers, for our employees and for all of our unit holders,” declared J.W.A. Buyers, chairman of ML Macadamia Orchards, LP.
ML Macadamia Orchards, L.P. is the world’s largest grower of macadamia nuts, owning or leasing 4,169 acres of orchards on the island of Hawaii, where macadamia yields are the highest in the world. All of its assets and employees are based on the island of Hawaii. MLMO will be celebrating their fifteenth anniversary on the New York Stock Exchange on June 12th.