A Victorian butcher has been fined $50,000 for selling meat that was falsely labelled as coming from King Island, proving that while all animals might be equal, they still need to be labelled in the correct way.
Butchery picture from Shutterstock
Kingsland Meatworks & Cellars Pty Ltd was slapped with the penalty following action from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The court ruled that the Brighton shop had wilfully made false and misleading representations to its customers.
The offending meat had been signposted by the butcher as coming from King Island, a Tasmanian province famed for its beef. In reality, very little or none of the meat was from this region.
“Consumers deserve to be properly informed about the origin of the food and produce they purchase,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. "When retailers falsely associate themselves with the reputation of particular regions, they are misleading [their] customers.”
It’s comforting to know consumers’ backs are covered from this kind of subterfuge. Last year, the supermarket chain Aldi was caught selling bogus ‘Kangaroo Island’ honey. (Each jar contained as little as 0.076% honey sourced from this region.) In the same year, food manufacturer Double D was fined $6,600 for falsely claiming its eucalyptus oil was made in Australia.
If you work in the consumer goods industry, it always pays to be honest -- getting busted can cost a fortune and also erodes customer trust.
On a related note, why not check out our guide to the different ways cattle are fed and farmed? (Hopefully your beef will be correctly labelled!)