Victorian table grape traders Grape Co Australia and Grape Co Farms(together Grape Co) have paid penalties totalling $34,920 after the ACCC issued three infringement notices alleging Grape Co made false or misleading representations about grape origins and failed to comply with the Horticulture Code of Conduct.
Grape Co Australia published on its website a claim that ‘Every single one of our grapes is personally hand-selected from the finest fruit on our family’s estate in Sunraysia Australia’, which the ACCC considered represented that all grapes are grown on the Grape Co Australia family estate, when in fact some Grape Co Australia branded grapes are grown on third party growers’ properties.
After investigating the matter, the ACCC issued one infringement notice to Grape Co Australia for allegedly making false and misleading representations on its website in relation to the origin of the grapes sold, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
“Food producers must ensure they do not mislead consumers with marketing statements about the place of origin of goods or produce. This not only impacts consumers, but can also prevent other businesses who are careful about being accurate in their marketing from competing on a level playing field,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.
“Consumers looking to support small businesses may make purchasing decisions based on representations that the produce is sourced from a family farm, and it is important they are not misled so they get what they pay for.”
Grape Co Australia has since amended its website to reflect the true origins of grapes marketed to consumers.