Consumer rights victory in Australia sets shining example for other countries to follow
Today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that the Federal Court has fined Coles supermarket AU$2.5 million for ‘making false or misleading representations and engaging in misleading conduct in relation to the promotion of its par baked bread products.’
As noted in the ACCC’s release: ‘The products were promoted as “Baked Today, Sold Today” and in some cases “Freshly Baked In-Store”, when they were in fact partially baked and frozen off site by a supplier, transported and ‘finished’ at in-store bakeries within Coles supermarkets.’
Some of the bake-off loaves were originally produced as far away as Ireland.
The conclusion to ‘Are Supermarket Bloomers Pants?’, the Campaign’s 2010 investigation of supermarket in-store ‘bakeries’, noted that ‘it seems that the majority of supermarket in-store bakery loaves are produced using artificial additives and processing aids and that many are not being baked from scratch on site but produced elsewhere to be re-baked at a later date as and when needed.’
We question whether things have changed for the better, or if the ‘loaf tanning salon’ still dominates the supermarket ‘fresh bakery’ corner.
The Real Bread Campaign sees the Australian ruling as a victory for shoppers and salutes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for bringing about this successful action.
In order to protect the rights of shoppers and of local, independent bakers who bake genuinely fresh Real Bread from scratch in their bakeries, we now call on UK authorities to follow this example with properly enforced legislation.
We would like to see an Honest Crust Act to give meaningful, legal definitions to marketing terms including ‘freshly baked’, ‘artisan’ and ‘sourdough’. It would also require full declaration of all artificial additives, including those currently deemed ‘processing aids’ on the label or at point of sale for all loaves, including those sold unwrapped.
Real Bread Week starts on 9 May.
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Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.
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