Competition watchdog warns bakers against misleading consumers
STANDARD: The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has ordered bread manufacturers to disclose full details of their products on wrappers, after investigations revealed some were misleading consumers.
In a statement yesterday, CAK said a recent probe revealed some of the bakers were not providing the manufacturing date or month on their bread wrappers in the prescribed format, while others were printing them illegibly on the seals.
The regulator said some of the manufacturers omitted the applicable month in the expiry dates, failed to provide the weight of their products and ingredients, while in other instances, others marketed their bread as fortified but did not specify the alleged nutrients or vitamins used.
“Some brands misled consumers that their products contained milk or butter whereas they did not.
These actions amount to making false and misleading representations to consumers of goods and services and are in contravention of section 55(a)(i) of the Competition Act,” said Wang’ombe Kariuki, CAK Director General.
Kariuki said the bread manufacturers were not adhering to product information standards as prescribed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), a conduct he added contravened section 60(1) of the Competition Act.
He ordered the manufacturers to ensure compliance with the requirements of the KS EAS 38:2014 and KS EAS 43: 2012 Standards, including providing a list of ingredients and the net weight of their products in grams; legibly print the day and month the product was manufactured on the wrapper.
Kariuki asked the bakers to correctly indicate the expiry date of the bread by adjusting the information on the wrappers to “Best Before” as opposed to “Sell By” and clearly specify the vitamins and minerals used in fortification of their bread.
“To ensure compliance with the order, the Authority hereby requires and orders all bread manufacturers in Kenya to adhere to the above requirements with immediate effect.
The Authority shall continuously undertake spot-checks to establish compliance with all the directives,” said Kariuki.
He said manufacturers had no latitude to select which laws to adhere to, and that consumers had the right to full and accurate information about goods or services offered.