Vineyard busted for falsely claiming organic status

 NASAA has won an injunction in the Federal Court against Kings Court Vineyards, restraining the Victorian grower from claiming its produce is certified organic.

A statement released by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture (NASAA) claims that the organic certifier never certified Kings Court Vineyards and will be seeking the maximum claimable in damages and costs against the vineyards’ operators, Zeno and Duran Ayhan.

NASAA general manager Ben Copeman said the organisation is committed to truth in labelling and would rigorously pursue any producer fraudulently claiming certification.

“We are prepared to take similar action to protect our integrity, certification process and brand against any business claiming to be certified organic when it is not,” he said.

“This case is not only about NASAA protecting its brand and reputation but also about defending the brand value and integrity of our certified operators.

“Our certified operators spend many thousands of dollars to maintain their certification, perfect their organic products and grow their brands and images.

“Certified organic produce commands a premium from consumers who choose to eat food that is free of synthetic fertiliser and pesticide residues, or genetically modified organisms. That premium only exists, however, if the consumer can trust the integrity of the organic label,” Copeman said.

Earlier this year, a number of organic wholesalers in Sydney and Melbourne alerted NASAA that Kings Court Vineyards was claiming to be certified organic by NASAA when it was not. In June, the Association sought an injunction in the Federal Court of Australia to stop Kings Court Vineyards from claiming it was NASAA certified and from using the NASAA Certified Organic label on its products.

Zeno and Duran Ayhan have signed undertakings to destroy all copies of the fraudulent document that purports to be a Certificate of Registration issued by NASAA. The pair have also been forbidden from claiming they’re certified organic, unless they gain genuine certification.


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