George Weston Foods Limited (trading as KR Castlemaine) - s.87B undertaking

Company or individual details

  • George Weston Foods Limited (trading as KR Castlemaine)
    008 429 632

Undertaking

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a section 87B undertaking from George Weston Foods Limited (trading as KR Castlemaine) (ACN 008 429 632) (George Weston).

George Weston is a food manufacturer whose range of products includes packaged smallgoods and ham products marketed under the KR Castlemaine brand. It supplies KR Castlemaine products to Woolworths, Coles and independent supermarkets in Australia.

George Weston acquired the KR Castlemaine brand in 2008. From 2008 some KR Castlemaine pork products included the prominent statement ‘bred free range’ on its packaging and labelling. The prominent statement was also made on the website www.krcastlemaine.com.au.

The ACCC considers that the reference to ‘bred free range’ in the promotion of KR Castlemaine pork products is likely to give consumers the overall impression that the pigs from which the products are made are farmed according to free range methods, which include at a minimum, that pigs are kept in an outdoor paddock and are able to move about freely on most ordinary days.

In fact, pigs from which the products are made are born and initially raised in huts on paddocks where the adult breeding sow lives in open spaces able to move about freely on most ordinary days. At the age of between 21 – 28 days, the pigs are then moved into straw-based shelters where they live until slaughter.

The ACCC considers KR Castlemaine’s use of the phrase ‘bred free range’ to be inconsistent with consumers’ understanding of those words and may therefore be false or misleading or deceptive in contravention of sections 18 and 29(1)(a) of the Australian Consumer Law.

Under the terms of the undertaking, George Weston has undertaken, for a period of three years, to among other things:

  • commencing four months after the date of the Undertaking coming into effect, not make any representation to the effect that pigs used for the production of any pork product supplied by George Weston are born and raised, for the duration of their lives, in an environment where the pigs are able to move about freely in an outdoor paddock on most ordinary days, in circumstances when this is not the case;
  • implement a Competition and Consumer Act Compliance Program for persons involved in George Weston’s business;
  • publish a corrective notice on its website [www.krcastlemaine.com.au] within seven (7) days of the date of this Undertaking coming into effect, for a period of sixty (60) days.