Supermarket giant Coles has fallen foul of the Australian Competition and Consumer Competition (ACCC) for the second time in a month. This time, it has paid a $61,200 fine after repeated examples of displaying imported fruits and vegetables under large ‘Helping Australia Grow’ signs.
The ACCC noted that in the five stores where it identified the behaviour between March and May this year, the produce itself did have its correct country of origin displayed. However, the ACC argued that the “relatively small sized stickers or statements were not sufficient to correct the overwhelming impression of the ‘Helping Australia Grow’ campaign imagery that was associated with the sale of the product”. Coles said the mistake happened because goods were being relocated within the store.
By paying the fine, Coles avoids a protracted legal battle. That seems less likely in its battle over bakery activity, which hits the courts in August.