Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has attacked Coles for “deceiving” customers by selling foreign bread as freshly baked, and has called on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to step up its investigation of the supermarket giants, The Australian reports.
Mr Kennett has sent a box of Coles’ Irish-made Cuisine Royale bread and muffins to the ACCC, along with a letter urging it to examine the supermarket’s “predatory” relationship with local produce suppliers.
“Coles is trying to drive producers and farmers out of business here,” Mr Kennett told The Australian. “While Coles says ‘Oh, yes, we’re in support of local industry’, the reality is their performance is quite different.
“They’re working towards a position where in a short period of time there will be no Australian manufacturers.”
Mr Kennett referred to the Cuisine Royale bread being sold at Coles with labels claiming “baked today” in-store. In actual fact, the bread has been parbaked and shipped to Australia in refrigerated containers before being finished by Coles.
“This is a con,” he said. “The presentation of this product to the public, while technically correct, is deliberately misleading.”