Late last year, this media release that I put out on mislabeled produce in Coles supermarkets generated significant attention, with stories on the issue being run in a number of local and national papers. The story got so much attention that professional climate change denier and right-wing nutjob Andrew Bolt felt the need to get involved.
Several months later it seems the NSW Food Authority is still taking the issue quite seriously, with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that other Coles and Woolworths stores in greater Sydney have been fined over the issue.
While the fines are small for the companies involved the public exposure that their misleading labelling has received will likely be much more serious. Many conscientious consumers choose to buy Australian produce over that which has been imported to reduce ‘food miles’, support local farmers or to take a stand against the goings on in some of the producer countries.
Such consumers will now be much more wary about what they buy from the two big supermarkets and I imagine many will take their business away from this ever expanding duopoly and to local independent retailers. The NSW Food Authority, and presumably other regulatory bodies, have Coles and Woolworths in their sites and much more serious punishments will follow if they don’t drastically lift their game.