According to the West Australian newspaper, seafood company Kailis Bros has been hit with a $10,800 fine after the Australian Competition and Consumer (ACCC) found shoppers could be mislead by the labeling on its “Just Caught Prawn Meat” product.
The ACCC said the packaging showed a prominent image of the Australian flag on its front and back.
A map in the bottom right hand corner included the words “Australian caught raw prawns” printed in a circle around the map, and the packaging also contained the words “Australian Caught-Raw-Deveined-Tail Off-Prawn Meat” noted the West Australian story.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the company had been issued an infringement notice because the ACCC had “reasonable grounds” to believe the company had engaged in conduct likely to mislead the public.
“The ACCC believed that the images and statements on this product gave the misleading impression that it was packed and processed in Australia,” he said.
"Businesses cannot rely on fine print disclaimers to correct or qualify a prominent country of origin representation that is false or misleading,” Sims said.
Kailis chief executive Nicholas Kailis said the prawns were caught by Australian fishermen on Australian boats in Australian fishing zones and were sent to Thailand for peeling and processing for cost reasons.
There was no intent to deceive the public, noted Kailis.