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Half-baked bread wars rage down under

It just goes to show how careful you have to be when describing the origin of products. The Australian consumer giant Coles Supermarket’s Baked Today, Sold Today bread has fallen foul of the country’s Competition and Consumer Commission, the ACCC, who have kicked off legal proceedings over Coles’ ‘Cuisine Royale’ and ‘Coles Bakery’ breads.

The ACCC is worried about the supermarket’s “lack of distinction” between freshly-baked and par-baked breads, which they feel is misleading consumers as well as putting Aussie bakeries who really do bake fresh bread at an unfair competitive disadvantage.

The issue arises from the small print as well as in-store labelling. Apparently the labels on par-baked products claim the products are Baked Today, Sold Today, which isn’t strictly accurate. Some labels claim the breads are Freshly Baked In-Store. And in the shops themselves, prominent signage saying Freshly Baked and Baked Fresh were felt to be misleading.

At first glance the breads appear to have been prepared and made entirely in-store, but in reality they were prepared and partially baked off site, frozen, transported and then ‘finished’ in store. Some were even partially baked overseas, or in different locations in Australia. The bread wasn’t actually prepared from scratch in Coles’ in-house bakeries on the day it was offered for sale. Nor was it baked on the same day it was offered for sale. In fact the small print on the labels made it clear that some of the bread was actually made in Ireland.

If they’re found guilty the supermarket giant faces fines of up to 1.1 million Australian dollars, a vast amount of money representing a serious slap on the wrist!

Our artisan breads are all freshly baked on-site down in deepest Kent, many hand-made by our expert bakery staff, most of whom have been with us for years. And the minute they’re baked to absolute perfection they’re frozen, straight from the oven, on-site. You can’t say fresher – or clearer – than that!

(Thanks to http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lusi for the lovely image)