Australia’s consumer watchdog, ACCC, has collected a $12,600 fine from Queensland Yoghurt Company (QYC) following an alleged failure to dislose the presence of gelatine in some products.
The ACCC issued an infringement notice for allegedly misleading consumers by omitting the ingredient from its nutritional information from at least July 2, 2019.
“Consumers rely on accurate labels to make informed purchasing decisions,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“QYC’s failure to disclose gelatine means consumers may have purchased its yoghurt products believing they did not contain gelatine.”
The ACCC said it had “reasonable grounds to believe” that by omitting gelatin, or CFT-1 as it’s also known, from its ingredients list when it was present in the product, the statement of ingredients was false or misleading, and in violation of Australian Consumer Law.
Court said this could impact consumers who have chosen not to consume gelatine for dietary, religious, environmental or ethical reasons.
The ACCC was also concerned that QYC was “not competing fairly in a market where products are differentiated by their ingredients”.
“Misleading representations relating to food are a 2020 enforcement priority area for the ACCC, and we will continue to take enforcement action where necessary,” Court said.
QYC has paid the penalty handed down and committed to amend its products’ statement of ingredients by the end of this month.
Queensland Yoghurt Company confirmed with Inside FMCG that it received an ACCC infringement notice due to omitting gelatine as an ingredient on the packaging of some of its yoghurt products.
“This omission was in no way intended to mislead customers and we can confirm that all associated packaging has been updated as of 15th May to comply with the ACCC findings,” the company said.