ACCC not so sweet on honey claims

 

986525_30180438Bera Foods has paid a penalty of $10,200 following the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The ACCC considered that by using the word “Honey” and including a map of Australia on the “Hi Honey” label, Bera Foods had misrepresented the product was Australian honey when in fact the product was predominantly composed of plant sugars and was produced in Turkey.

The infringement notice was issued to Bera Foods because the ACCC had reasonable grounds to believe Bera Foods had made a false or misleading representation about the composition of Bera Foods’ “Hi Honey” product, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

“The ACCC was concerned in this case because although “Hi Honey” was labelled as honey, the product was not actually honey produced by honey bees. Honey suppliers must ensure any products they sell as “honey” are in fact produced entirely by honey bees,” ACCC commissioner, Sarah Court, said.

“Further, the inclusion of a prominent map of Australia on the Hi Honey label may have led consumers to conclude the product was produced in Australia when this was not the case. Credence claims such as this are a priority area for the ACCC, to ensure consumers are given accurate information about the content and origin of products,” Court said.

Earlier this year, the ACCC issued three Infringement Notices and accepted a court enforceable undertaking in relation to “Victoria Honey”, which was not produced by honey bees and was not a product of Victoria, Australia.

Recently, the ACCC also took steps to ensure suppliers of “Sunshine Honey”, “Hecham Honey”, “Brezzo Italian Red Gum Honey”, “Meg Myucku 100 per cent natural honey” and “Golden Honey” ceased supply of the product and withdrew remaining stocks of the product from wholesale customers, because each of these products labelled as honey was not entirely produced by honey bees.

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