Australian supermarkets fined for false fruit labels
Australian supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths have been fined for not labelling imported fruit from Israel and the U.S. correctly in two Sydney stores.
The Food Authority from the state of New South Wales (NSW) has fined the two chains a total of AUD$2420 (US$2611) and placed them on a 'Name and Shame' register for the next 12 months.
A Coles supermarket in St Marys copped an AUD$880 (US$949.52) fine for not letting consumers know its grapefruit were from Israel, while Woolworths received a fine of AUD$1540 (US$1661) for labelling U.S.-grown lemons with 'Product of Australia' stickers.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson revealed the companies had been fined, as the first Country of Origin case against the two chains.
"It may be seen to be of commercial advantage by some retailers to imply that their produce is of Australian origin. This is illegal and will not be tolerated," she said.
"Our farmers produce $1.2 billion in fresh fruit and vegetables a year and deserve better than to have supermarkets trade on their clean-green reputation using products that were grown thousands of kilometres away.
"These retailers should know better, in light of concerns over incorrect labelling the Food Authority recently issued a communiqué to NSW Local Government Council organisations and relevant food retailers reminding them of their obligations under the Food Standards Code and the Food Act in regard to country of origin labelling."
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