ACCC Busts 'Aussie Beer', Actually Made In China

Country of origin labelling is a hot topic in Australia right now, but the consumer regulator isn't entirely without teeth in this area. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has fined one manufacturer $10,200 for selling 'Aussie Beer' in a green and gold box that was actually made in China.

Picture: ACCC

The Aussie beer label proclaims that it uses "Australia's finest malt" and has the words "100% owned" over a map of Australia. You have to look for much smaller print on the box to discover it was manufactured in China. The ACCC deemed that to be a breach of the Australian Consumer Law and has fined Independent Liquor Group $10,200 via its infringement notice mechanism.

"Country of origin representations, particularly those designed to grab the eye of the consumer by using well known symbols, colours, or slogans, must be truthful," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement announcing the fine. "Consumers are entitled to expect that prominent representations made on packaging are accurate without having to check for disclosures in the fine print."

Sounds fair dinkum to us.



    Actually surprised the packaging didn't have some weird spellings - like a lot of bad Chinese knock-offs.

    has the words “100% owned” over a map of Australia.

    That's actually meant to be a reference to how much of the country the Chinese have bought :P


    If it's owned by an Australian company (or a company registered in Australia and paying Australian taxes), and they're importing Australian Malt to China, bottling it and sending it back - I think it's fair and reasonable advertising.

    Certainly more honest than Australian frozen berries that have "Packaged in Australia" in large print and "made from local and imported ingredients" fine print.

    Maybe the ACCC should spend less time picking on deceptive (but technically honest) branding on beer and spend more time investigating how the $17 per person per leg of a flight is a reasonable credit card surcharge at Jetstar, when their only 'free' payment option (POLI) is more often than not broken and unusable; and how waiving this $17 charge for "Jetstar mastercard" customers isn't third-line forcing.

    Off topic: Does anyone know a replied paid mailing address of Jetstar?

    I'm tempted to send them 20 "thank you" notes in A4 envelopes to their reply-paid mailing address (costing Jetstar about $1.20 each) for each leg of my previous journey with their reputable airline.

    Well first of all there's no concept of food safety in China. I don't even want to imagine the kind of hangover you'd get from drinking 'Aussie' beer brewed in China.

    Nothing wrong with exporting Australian Malt to China, but I don't know why you'd want to import it back into Australia as beer. What exactly is the benefit? I gather it was probably a cost cutting exercise. Though given the major cost benefit in manufacturing in China is low labour cost and commercial brewing is highly automated, with transportation costs I can't imagine the savings would be all that great. Indeed the greatest cost to consumers is the alcohol tax, though perhaps for a company they'd see a slight increase in profits. This might explain why they ceased the practice long ago well before the relatively small fine was issued and it probably wasn't a commercial success so the volume of sales may have been low.

      You would be surprised at the cost savings. I know of a large steel company in Australia who buys iron ore here, ships it to China to have it turned into steel then brings it back. And they save a decent whack on that!

    Way to shit on us again China

      ILG claim they are '100% Australian Owned', so it is more a case of 'Way to shit on yourself again, Australia'.

    Had they used the Buy Australian Logo they would have put their Australian credentials on open display for all to see.
    Its the Logo that the Government wishes they could give us but are forbidden from doing so.
    An Australian Authenticity Logo and Truth in Labelling all in one since 2012.

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