NEW YORK, Aug. 16 (UPI) — Primatologist Jane Goodall’s non-profit organization says in a lawsuit a company owes $720,000 it had agreed to pay for marketing its vegetarian baby food.
The Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation filed the suit against Sprout Foods, founded by the Food Network’s Tyler Florence, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
The institute said Sprout Foods agreed to pay the sum for marketing of a product called Janey Baby by Jane Goodall. The institute takes in a lot of money from licensing the name of Goodall, says the suit, filed in federal court in New York City.
Sprout Foods was a good fit to receive a license to use the “famous and highly regarded names and trademarks of Jane Goodall” for a new food product, institute officials decided last year, the suit said.
Under a 28-month deal signed with Sprout Foods Chief Executive Officer Max MacKenzie in August 2010, the institute marketed the baby food and Goodall visited Sprout’s “organic supplier farm” in Oregon in October to attract publicity, the suit said.
The Post said the company neither marketed the product nor made the first $90,000 payment to the institute.
The institute complained but was told MacKenzie was not authorized to negotiate the deal, the Post said.
Sprout Foods, the newspaper reported, said the contract was made by a “former” CEO and said it would “defend itself vigorously” in the suit.