The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) on Monday, May 24 hit bread manufacturers in Kenya with new orders after investigations by the body revealed several dangerous practices.
Charged with consumer protection, CAK noted that a number of bread manufacturers had been found contravening a raft of regulatory standards including provisions of the Competition Act. Emphasizing that consumers’ rights were not to be trampled on, CAK Director-General Wang’ombe Kariuki stated that “manufacturers had no latitude to elect which laws to adhere to.”
CAK outlined the violations in a statement, writing: “Specifically the undertakings were not providing the manufacturing date/month on their bread wrappers in the prescribed format while others were printing them illegibly on the seals. In other cases, the manufacturers omitted the applicable month in the expiry dates.
“Additionally, the manufacturers failed to provide the weight of their bread products and ingredients, while others marketed their bread as fortified but did not specify the alleged nutrients/vitamins used. Some brands misled customers that their products contained milk or butter whereas they did not.”
The body noted that the manufacturers’ actions amounted to making false and misleading representations to consumers of goods and services, as well as non-compliance with product information standards as prescribed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).
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Orders Issued Against Rogue Bread Manufacturers
Remedial orders were issued to the manufacturers found violating provisions of the Competition Act and other relevant standards, which they will be required to adhere to with immediate effect.
CAK disclosed that it would undertake spot-checks to ensure compliance with the orders.
They will be required to:
- Ensure compliance with sections 55 (a)(i) and 60(1) of the Competition Act.
- Ensure compliance with the requirements of 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.
- Correctly indicate the expiry date of the bread by adjusting the information on the wrappers to “Best Before” as opposed to “Sell By”.
- Clearly specify the vitamins and minerals used in fortification of their bread.