The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Luv-a-Duck Pty Ltd alleging false, misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the promotion and supply of its duck meat products.
The ACCC alleges that Luv-a-Duck engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct by use of one or more of following statements on its packaging, website and brochures:
- a statement that its ducks were ‘grown and grain fed in the spacious Victorian Wimmera Wheatlands’, and other promotional statements of a similar nature;
- a statement that its ducks were ‘range reared and grain fed’.
The ACCC alleges that the duck meat products sold or offered for sale by Luv-a-Duck were in fact processed from ducks that did not have substantial access to the outdoors, or access to spacious outdoor conditions.
“The ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy lists credence claims as a new priority area, particularly those in the food industry with the potential to have a significant impact on consumers,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“Consumers must be able to trust that what is on the label is true and accurate. Businesses need to make sure they are not misleading consumers into paying a premium for products that don’t match the claims made on the label,” Ms Court said.
The ACCC is seeking: declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties, orders that Luv-a-Duck implement a trade practices compliance program, orders that Luv-a-Duck publish corrective notices on its website and business premises and provide a corrective notice to its customers, and costs.
The matter has been filed in the Melbourne Federal Court's Fast Track List. The first Scheduling Conference is listed for Monday, 29 April 2013 at 9:30am.
The Compliance and Enforcement Policy is available at http://transition.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/867964