Multi-species game bird producer, Game Farm, has paid two infringement notices totalling $20,400 and has provided a court enforceable undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The penalties relate to claims on Game Farm’s packaging and website stating that its birds are ‘range reared’, which in fact they were grown in commercial sheds and had no access to the outdoors.
The ACCC considered that the ‘range reared’ representation was likely to lead consumers to believe that birds were allowed to spend a substantial amount of their time outdoors on an open range.
“The ACCC continues to warn the poultry industry that claims made on packaging and in advertising must be true and accurate and not mislead consumers,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.
The ACCC issues two $10,200 infringement notices to Game Farm, which supplies quail, spitchcock, duck, chicken and turkey to supermarket chains, wholesalers, restaurants, hotels and specialty butchers. The first infringement was for the ‘range reared’ representations on the packaging of Game Farm’s Gourmet Quail product, and the second was for the ‘range reared’ representation on its website.
As part of the court enforceable undertaking, Game Farm will send a corrective notice to its major customers and will establish and implement a trade practices compliance program to ensure this type of conduct does not occur again.
The ACCC has cracked down on credence claims this year, with a number of other companies receiving similar penalties. Earlier this month Luv-a-Duck was ordered to pay $360,000 for also making false representations about how its ducks are reared, and at the end of October, Baiada Poultry and Bartter Enterprises, the suppliers and processors of Steggles chicken products, has fined $400,000 over misleading ‘free to roam’ claims. Pepe’s Ducks had to pay a similar amount in January and was ordered not to use the phrases ‘open range’ or ‘grown nature’s way’ on its packaging or marketing material for the next three years.