The legendary Barossa Valley family of Maggie Beer is firmly in the sights of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), with the consumer watchdog taking one of Australia’s most loved cooks to task over the labelling of her products, just two months after her daughter, Saskia Beer, was pinged for mislabelling her pork products.
This time the ACCC launched action against the labelling of Maggie Beer products that were “likely to have been misleading” because her logo bears the tagline “Maggie Beer A Barossa Food Tradition” and not every product is made in the Barossa Valley.
Maggie Beer-branded ice-cream, extra virgin olive oil, and rosemary and verjuice biscuits are manufactured by third parties in Victoria, while Maggie Beer-branded aged red wine vinegar is manufactured by a third party in Queensland.
The ACCC alleged that the “close proximity” of the Maggie Beer logo to words such as ‘Made in Australia’ or ‘Product of Australia’, as well as the company address on the back: ‘Maggie Beer Products: 2 Keith Street Tanunda South Australia 5352’ meant “a reasonable consumer would have gained the overall impression that each of these products was manufactured in Tanunda, the Barossa Valley and/or South Australia, when in fact this was not the case”.
In response, Maggie Beer said “It has absolutely never been our intention for this to be the case.”
She said that out of around 200 products, only these four were produced interstate, and even then, aspects such as the burnt fig syrup in ice-cream was made in the Barossa and shipped to Victoria.
“My products carry my name because it’s my taste, it’s the way I cook.
“Almost all Maggie Beer Products are made here in the Barossa,” she said.
“I have never hidden that these four product line were not made in the Barossa or in South Australia.
“I apologise unreservedly to anyone who feels they may have been misled by the old labels on these four products.”
Maggie Beer Products acknowledged that it breached Australian Consumer Law and will amend its labelling so that when products are made outside of South Australia it is clear.
The ACCC said this latest case came to their attention independently of their investigation of Beer’s daughter Saskia and her company Barossa Farm Produce.
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