The Morrison Government is making sure there are no underweight carrots left out for the Easter Bunny this year, with a week-long blitz of fruit and vegetable retailers beginning ahead of the Easter weekend.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said inspectors from the National Measurement Institute (NMI) will hop to it from today until 21 March, auditing 550 greengrocers.
“Whether it’s a bag of carrots for the Easter Bunny or the fresh produce for an Easter feast – Aussie shoppers should be egg-ceptionally confident that they’re getting what they pay for at their local fruit and veg shop,” Minister Andrews said.
“A lot of Australians will be keen to make this Easter eggs-tra special after spending last year in lockdown due to COVID-19, so we want to make sure they’re getting what they pay for.
“I’m putting retailers on notice. The yolk is on you if you think you can rip off Aussie customers and get away with it.
“This blitz will target businesses who’ve previously done the wrong thing – so there’ll be no eggs-cuses for not fixing the problem.
“While I may crack myself up with my Easter puns, this is an issue that our Government takes very seriously.”
Inspectors will check pre-packaged goods to make sure they contain the right amount of product and are labelled correctly.
Inspectors will also make ‘secret shopper’ purchases to check that businesses are following correct trading practices, such as accounting for the weight of packaging materials when selling over the counter. They’ll also be ensuring scales are working accurately and that fresh produce is clearly labelled with the price per kilo.
Assistant Minister for Industry Development Jonathan Duniam said the Government wanted to ensure consumers could spend with confidence this Easter.
“Every-bunny wants to get what they pay for when they’re doing the s-hopping and we know, particularly around holiday time, every cent counts,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
“Where non-compliance is found, NMI can issue infringement notices with fines of $1,110 per offence. If the case is serious enough for a prosecution, the maximum fines are $222,000 per offence as a company or $44,400 per offence as an individual.”
NMI’s inspectors are following strict health protocols when conducting business audits to ensure COVID safety. This program will not be implemented in any identified COVID hotspots.
For more information on trade measurement law or to report a suspected breach of the rules, contact the national helpline on 1300 686 664 or firstname.lastname@example.org