A plaintiff has filed a putative class action alleging Tillamook County Creamery Association misleadingly markets its products as sourced from cows in Tillamook County. Bohr v. Tillamook Cty. Creamery Ass’n, No. 19-36208 (Ore. Cir. Ct., Multnomah Cty., filed August 19, 2019). The complaint alleges that consumers “increasingly seek out and are willing to pay more for products that they perceive as being locally and ethically sourced—better for the environment, more humane.”

Tillamook allegedly sought to capitalize on this consumer preference by advertising its products as “made with four ingredients, patience, and old-fashioned farmer values in Tillamook, Oregon,” despite producing its cheese and ice cream with ingredients obtained from “the largest and most industrialized dairy factory farm in the country,” a “complex of cement-floored production facilities and barren dirt feedlots, where cows are continuously confined, milked by robotic carousels, and afflicted with painful udder infections.”

The complaint cites a “recent consumer survey of Pacific Northwest consumers” purportedly finding that “the majority of Tillamook dairy purchasers believe, from Tillamook’s representations, that Tillamook sources milk from small-scale family farms and not large industrial dairy farms.” The plaintiff alleges unjust enrichment and seeks class certification, injunctive relief, attorney’s fees and costs.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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