It all started when Jeff Kennett, the former Prmeier of Victoria, discovered “freshly baked” breads and muffins at his local supermarket were made in Ireland.
And ended today when the Federal Court ruled that Coles supermarkets falsely claimed pre-cooked bread as freshly baked and breached three sections of Australian Consumer Law.
Coles faces millions of dollars in fines.
Chief Justice Allsop said: “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 sometime before, off site, and that “freshly baked” actually meant the completion of the baking process of frozen product prepared and frozen off site by suppliers.”
Consumer watchdog the ACCC (The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) instituted proceedings in the Federal Court alleging false, misleading and deceptive conduct in the supply of bread that was partially baked and frozen off site, transported to Coles stores and finished in-store.
The products were then promoted as “Baked Today, Sold Today” and/or “Freshly Baked In-Store” at Coles stores with in-house bakeries.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “Today’s decision confirms that Coles misled consumers about the baking of these bread products.”
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