Lion pulls ‘Berri Truly’ product after Country of Origin label complaint

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 17th July 2013

Food and beverage manufacturer Lion has ‘deleted’ its Berri Truly juice product after Federal and State MPs said it should be withdrawn from sale because it was made in Mexico and it was “fundamentally misleading consumers”.

Independent South Australian Sentor Nick Xenophon and South Australian State Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the one litre tetrapak, featuring the ‘Berri’ logo, which includes the words ‘since 1943’ was “misleading” because of the Berri brand’s association with Australian produce.

“This packaging is deceiving consumers, and misrepresenting Australian growers,” said Mr Whetstone. “The whole product comes from Mexico with not one molecule of Australian content,” he said.

Senator Xenophon and Mr Whetstone had said they would file complaints with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the South Australian Consumer Affairs. They said they would argue that juice branded with the name of a South Australian citrus growing town, with a 70-year history of producing Australian juice, would lead consumers to assume that the product contained Australian juice.

But Lion said it was withdrawing the product because it had not met “performance benchmarks”. It said that it was clear both on the label of the Berri Truly product and its product website that the product was made in Mexico.

“We do not apologise for investing in innovation to grow the juice category in Australia,” Lion said in a statement. “In the case of Berri Truly, the product required technology not available in Australia. In launching Berri Truly, we were transparent with growers that – should it succeed – we would look to invest in bringing the technology to Australia and sourcing locally,” the Company said.

Senator Xenophon said the confusion around the Berri Truly product showed that country of origin labelling (CoOL) in Australia needed to be “strengthened”.

Berri Truly has been withdrawn from sale