Coles Faces Fines of Up to $1.1 Million per Breach After Federal Court Declares Freshly Baked Bread Claim Is False
By Vittorio Hernandez | June 19, 2014 9:30 AM EST
Supermarket giant Coles could be facing a fine of up to $1.1 million per violation or over $3 million total penalty after the Federal Court found on Wednesday its claim of selling freshly baked bread as false and breached three sections of the Australian Consumer Law.
Snake baked inside bread loaf (Credit: Reuters)
The decision agrees with the case filed by Australia's consumer watchdog, triggered by a complaint made by former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, that the grocery's Cuisine Royale and Coles Bakery bread products engaged in false advertising that the products were baked and sold on the same day, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
In reality, some of the bread were pre-baked months ago overseas such as one the Cuisine Royale bread and muffins from Ireland. Loaves from Denmark and Germany were initially frozen and shipped to Australia.
"It is not the place of the court to provide an advice ... as to how Coles might sell bread that has been par-baked from frozen product ... A start would, however, be to make it tolerably clear to the public that the recent baking was the completion of a baking process that had taken place before, off site, and that 'freshly baked' actually meant the completion of the baking process of frozen product prepared and frozen off site by the suppliers," Chief Justice James Allsop said.
Philip Crutchfield, the lawyer for Coles, argued that the supermarket is giving shoppers a comparison that the bread sold by competitors keeps longer because of preservatives, while the bread it sells that doesn't contain preservatives is baked in-store.
Coles accepted the guilty verdict and said it would not contest the court's decision but added that it could have done better to explain how its bread products were baked. The supermarket said it is now in the advanced stage of changing product packaging and the information on it.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- California Fruits Recalled in USA and Canada for Possible Listeria Contamination
- Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Air Carrier Losing $1.6 Million/Day; Crisis Management Experts Suggest Hiring Risk Expert as CEO
- The IBM and Apple Merger: Will it Spell Trouble to Rival Companies
- CBA, NAB, Westpac in Fixed Rate War Offering Below 5% Interest
- Radio Australia Cuts to Affect Isolated Vanuatu Residents Who Rely on It for Weather Bulletins
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales
- HTC Google Nexus 8 Release Date Imminent with New Nexus 7 Deals, Two New Tablets Soon