A major brewery has paid fines of more than $20,000 after admitting to misleading the public about where its Byron Bay Pale Lager is made.
The competition and consumer watchdog says the bottled beer is made at Carlton United’s main brewing facility in Sydney.
But Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says the labels only focus on Byron Bay.
“Consumers often want to associate themselves with small niche beers, and that’s clearly the way that the bottle was intending to promote itself to consumers,” he said.
“We’re also concerned that other small niche players shouldn’t have to compete with a large company trying to pass itself off as a small company.
“We’ve taken this case just to send a signal more broadly, and we’re going to publicise more broadly, just to show people about what they can and can’t do.
“We’re hoping that this will get a number of companies to look at their practices, particularly in food and beverages, to make sure that they’re not large companies passing themselves off as small ones.
Mr Sims says says Byron Bay is not the only iconic location being exploited for branding purposes.
He says it has become an unfortunate but common tactic in the food and beverage industry.
“A company selling meat called itself King Island Meat,” Mr Sims said.
“It didn’t come from King Island, it just chose that name and we took action, successful action in court, against them.
“So we also take these cases where people are simply saying they’re coming from a particular geography when they’re not.”
Source ABC News