Company or individual details
- Anchor Foods Pty Ltd trading as Spencers Gourmet Trading101 088 626
The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Anchor Foods Pty Ltd trading as Spencers Gourmet Trading (Spencers) in relation to claims about its oregano product, following an investigation into possible breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), contained in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the CCA).
Spencers is incorporated in Australia and is based in Western Australia. It specialises in the sale of grocery foods and in particular herbs and spices.
Spencers is a distributor of oregano in Australia and supplies to major retailers in Western Australia. Its oregano sales volume in 2015 was 100,000 units. During the relevant period, Spencers acquired its oregano from Spice Masters Australia Pty Ltd.
In 2015, Spencers made representations through statements on the packaging of its oregano product that the product contained only oregano. These statements included the text ‘Oregano’ on the front of the package and the text on the back of the package which says ‘Closely related to marjoram, oregano is a small perennial (Origanum vulgare), native to the Mediterranean region where it has been cultivated since ancient times…’.
However, test results indicated the substantial presence of olive leaves in the Spencers oregano product.
The ACCC raised its concerns regarding the Spencers’ oregano product with Spencers. In response, Spencers stated it had:
issued a public statement apologising to consumers
offered a refund or replacement product to consumers
contacted its supplier to trace the adulterated batch of product
began a detailed review of the supply chain for all Spencers herb and spice products
worked with supermarket retailers to trace and recover suspected adulterated batches, and
developed a testing regime where Spencers works with suppliers to conduct routine testing.
To address the ACCC’s concerns, Spencers has offered the ACCC a court enforceable undertaking that it will, for a period of three years:
annually, obtain written evidence from a laboratory, which confirms that the laboratory has tested one sample of the product supplied and represented by Spencers as only oregano and found each sample was a product containing only oregano
establish and implement a process for annual testing of the composition of random samples of herb or spice products supplied by Spencers, other than oregano, and
retain the test results obtained, and if requested, provide the ACCC with a copy of those test results.