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CAMPBELL SOUP CO. v. DIEHM

September 26, 1952

CAMPBELL SOUP CO. et al.
v.
DIEHM et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WELSH

The actions herein were brought by plaintiffs to enjoin certain tomato farmers, who are under contract to sell their crops to the plaintiffs, from breaching their contracts, or to enjoin certain brokers from inducing or participating in the breaching of the farmers' contracts.

Temporary restraining orders were issued by this Court in each action on September 9th, and were renewed on September 11th and again on September 18th.

 It was agreed and stipulated by counsel that the actions be tried upon the following case stated and that they be heard on said case stated as if on final hearing.

 Case Stated.

 Both of the plaintiffs are corporations organized and existing under the laws of the State of New Jersey, with their principal place of business at Camden, New Jersey, and they are citizens of the State of New Jersey.

 All of the defendants are citizens of the State of Pennsylvania.

 Defendants Lester C. Martin, Joseph Loch, Frank W. Loch and Phares B. Stauffer are farmers and growers of tomatoes.

 Defendants Howard Diehm and Samuel Barrage are duly licensed brokers authorized to buy and sell agricultural products in the State of Pennsylvania.

 The written contracts entered into between the four defendant farmers and Joseph Campbell Company are attached hereto, made a part hereof, and marked Exhibit A(1-4).

 These contracts were offered to the defendant growers by agents of the Joseph Campbell Company at their domiciles, were there signed by defendants, were then forwarded to the Joseph Campbell Company at its offices in Camden, New Jersey, were there signed by that company, and a copy was then mailed to the defendant growers.

 Defendant Lester C. Martin signed for 10 acres of tomatoes for the 1952 season but planted not less than 20.3 acres (see Exhibit A-1).

 Defendants Joseph Loch and Frank W. Loch signed for 25 acres of tomatoes for the 1952 season, but planted only 11.6 acres (see Exhibit A-2 and 3).

 Defendant Phares B. Stauffer signed for 10 acres of tomatoes for the 1952 season but planted 12.3 acres (see Exhibit A-4).

 It is estimated that the yield per acre is approximately 8 tons per acre for the 1952 season, and the average contract price for such tonnage will be approximately $ 30 per ton. The open market price for the tomatoes in question for the 1952 season has averaged approximately $ 50 per ton.

 The Campbell Soup Company has for many years engaged in the canning of soups and other food products in its plant in Camden, New Jersey, including such tomato products as soup, juice and catsup. For this purpose the Campbell Soup Company operates in Camden, New Jersey, a large factory where it employs 7,000 men at the height of the canning season, this factory being equipped with machinery for the work of manufacturing and packing these products.

 The Campbell Soup Company cans and packs each year during the tomato season, which is roughly from August 1st to the end of September, very large quantities of these tomato products, its capacity being more than 250,000 5/8 bushel baskets of tomatoes every day. Its sales of tomato products run into millions of dollars each year.

 The Campbell Soup Company's production of these tomato products is in accordance with a carefully devised schedule, based upon a steady flow of tomatoes of certain kinds and qualities. The Campbell Soup Company, in order to secure the desired quantity of tomatoes at fixed prices and in a steady flow of the desired qualities, necessary to assure uniformity of quality and price in the finished product, contracts with the Joseph Campbell Company (see Exhibit B) for growers in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, and with the growers themselves in New Jersey. these contracts are entered into in March of each year immediately prior to the planting season, and five months prior to the tomato canning season.

 The Campbell Soup Company, which is the manufacturer, has entered into a contract with the Joseph Campbell Company, a true and correct copy of which, including the supplement thereto, is attached hereto, made a part hereof, and marked Exhibit B.

 The capital stock of the Joseph Campbell Company and of the Campbell Soup Company, is wholly owned by the Estate of John T. Dorrance, and the Joseph Campbell Company was created to procure raw materials for the Campbell Soup Company.

 At or about the same time that contracts are made with the tomato growers by the Joseph Campbell Company, the Campbell Soup Company plans for its Fall production on the basis of the estimated contract crop. It orders the necessary tin plate for containers, the necessary labels for the containers, cases for the containers, and makes arrangements with the Continental Canning Company for the rental of sufficient machinery to handle the canning. It also makes its contract with the Labor Unions for the necessary supply of labor, purchases the other ingredients to be mixed with the tomato products in the quantities necessary to meet the estimated needs. Contracts are let for advertisement, based on a percentage of the estimated amount of tomatoes to be canned. The Campbell Soup Company also enters into contracts at this time with dealers all over the world, at set prices for the sale to said dealers of well over half of its estimated production of canned tomato products.

 Picked tomatoes are highly perishable and cannot be stored. Consequently they are processed and canned immediately upon delivery and then shipped directly to the dealers who have contracted for them.

 The Campbell Soup Company, at its experimental farm in New Jersey, developed varieties of tomatoes most suitable for its canning purposes, and it grows the plants for these varieties at its farms in Georgia. These plants are available for sale to farmers contracting to grow tomatoes. These plants are sold to the farmers by the Joseph Campbell Company and the Campbell Soup Company, on ...


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