SK Foods was a California-based agribusiness company. It was a major producer of tomatoes, producing over half of the US supply at its formation in 2005. Former owner Frederick Scott Salyer was arrested on racketeering and corruption charges in early 2010 as SK Foods was implicated in a 2010 United States Department of Justice investigation into large scale price fixing and bribery in the tomato market. The company allegedly bribed buyers such as Frito-Lay, Kraft Foods and Safeway to accept moldy rotting tomatoes, to pay above-market prices, and to provide SK with information on competitors' activities. SK Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009. It was acquired out of bankruptcy by Olam International, based in Singapore. It is now known as Olam Tomato Processors. An associated produce company, Salyer American Fresh Foods, was forced to close.
Three buyers and five SK Foods employees pleaded guilty to various corruption charges in early 2010. In May 2012, Salyer pleaded guilty to charges of price-fixing and racketeering.
- ↑ New charges filed against California tomato mogul, Los Angeles Times, April 30, 2010.
- ↑ Tomato king Scott Salyer a man of his past. Monterey County Herald.
- ↑ Withers, Dawn (8 May 2009). SK Foods lenders force bankruptcy. The Packer.
- ↑ Bribes Let Tomato Vendor Sell Tainted Food, The New York Times, February 24, 2010.
- ↑ Founder of Central Valley tomato firm guilty in price-fixing case. Los Angeles Times (March 23, 2012). Retrieved on May 30, 2012.
- ↑ SK Foods founder pleads guilty in fraud case. Reuters (Mar 23, 2012). Retrieved on May 30, 2012.