Meat company apologises for misleading labelling

The charges related to labelling on packaging of three sizes of  'Heritage Cooked on the Bone' ham products.
The charges related to labelling on packaging of three sizes of 'Heritage Cooked on the Bone' ham products. Photo credit: Farmlands Foods

The New Zealand smallgoods producer convicted on charges relating to place of origin labelling says it has carried out a full review of its design processes.

Farmland Foods was fined $180,000 in the Palmerston North District Court for misleading consumers about some of its ham products.

The Bulls based, family-owned meat processing business produces a range of over 100 meat products which are sold at all major supermarkets in New Zealand. 

The company pleaded guilty and was convicted on three charges under the Fair Trading Act relating to labelling on packaging of three sizes of its 'Heritage Cooked on the Bone' ham products, which were sold between 1 October 2015 and 1 September 2018. 

Managing Director, Eddie Davis said the company accepted the sentence imposed by the Court on the Commerce Commission's charges.  

"We are pleased the judge recognised our good character, contribution to the community and reputation for trading with integrity. We're sorry this has happened and want to apologise to anyone potentially affected by this issue," he said

He said the company had undertaken a full internal review of its design processes to ensure its packaging meets the required standards and clearly shows the origin of our ingredients.

"This includes our full commitment to the new Consumers' Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act so people can continue to have confidence when buying our products.  

"We will update our packaging to ensure it meets the Consumer Information Standards made under the Act as soon as they are published."

He said the updated packaging was expected to be in place for the upcoming season.

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