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:
Join the Conversation
- Target Early Black Friday 2014 Sale Ad Released For Nov. 26, 2014 Includes Deals On Toys, HDTVs And Video Games Such As ‘FIFA 15’ And ‘NHL 15’ For Xbox 360 [WATCH VIDEO]
- Kohl's Black Friday 2014 Online Deals Available Now Until Nov. 28, 2014 Including Free Shipping For Orders Worth $50 And More [WATCH VIDEO]
- A Bearded Man Is Arresting UberX Drivers Across Sydney
- #Bendgate Fails To Dent As Apple’s Market Value Reaches $700 Billion
- Australia’s Gender Gap Is Wider At The Top
- Russia Is Ready for Shooting War, Will Likely Win Looming Nuclear Showdown with U.S. – Report
- Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale 2014: AT&T's Cricket Wireless Offers Discounts On Lumia 1320, Galaxy S5, S4 And HTC Desire 510
- Microsoft Band Runs Out Of Stock, But Offers $10 Gift Voucher To Wait-Listed Customers
- ISIS Kidnaps Iraqi Defence Minister’s Family, Executes Female Parliament Candidates
- '$2,000 For Sex'—Pleads Unlucky-in-Love Guy On OKCupid
- Google Joins Forces with GoPro Inc with New Google Maps Focusing on Destination