SUNBIZ

Some Lami-Nausori corridor Supermarkets Under Scrutiny

Three supermarkets in Suva were yesterday directed to remove food items from their shelves. This followed a joint inspection conducted by the Consumer Coun­cil of Fiji (CCF) and the Fijian
31 Oct 2018 10:36
Some Lami-Nausori corridor Supermarkets Under Scrutiny
Consumer Council Of Fiji

Three supermarkets in Suva were yesterday directed to remove food items from their shelves.

This followed a joint inspection conducted by the Consumer Coun­cil of Fiji (CCF) and the Fijian Competition & Consumer Com­mission (FCC).

Items removed included sultana packs infested with insects, one litre canned fruit juice (fruit cock­tail) that had black residues. Oth­er offences included no price tags to icing sugar, tea leaves and food colours.

The investigations were conduct­ed at more than 30 retail outlets in Suva, Nabua, Nasinu, Nakasi, Valelevu, Makoi, Lami and Nau­sori.

Meanwhile, an electrical com­pany with outlets in Toorak and branches in Suva, Nausori, Nadi and Labasa has been taken to task following an advertisement of a home theatre system selling for $852; it was actually selling at $869.

The same was for a food proces­sor advertised for $199 whilst the price for offer in the shop was $249.

In Valelevu, a convenience store that is considered highly afford­able to consumers had misleading Diwali specials on firecrackers whereby the advertised in-store special price of $13.95 but had an­store price of $13.95.

Similar issue of misleading ad­vertisements and sales notices were found in a mart that was selling a multifunctional sofa bed advertised both in their ‘Diwali Specials’ magazine and in-store.

The inspection not only revealed bad food products and misleading advertisements, it also found a supermarket to be operating in a building that highly needed refur­bishment; the ceiling was leaking, sagged with water and was dis­placed from its initial position.

Supermarkets in the greater Su­va-Nausori corridor revealed no expiry dates on food items includ­ing honey, tinned food and repack­aging of ice cream by retailers.

There was evidence of rotten potatoes, onions and fruits, torn packaging for polish, open packag­ing for chicken whereby the chick­en was exposed to the atmosphere and certain items had labelling in foreign language.

An eminent supermarket that has major outlets in Fiji’s centre point, harbour point and south point, was allegedly overcharging on price controlled items.

This is a serious offence under the FCCC Act 2010 and the super­market will be taken to task for making consumers pay more than the stipulated price of these basic food items.

With the Diwali festival just around the corner, a leading eth­nic boutique outlet was more than ready to serve customers to buy their best outfit for the occasion but failed to display prices on ban­gles, clothing and also misled con­sumers through advertisements that read “flat 25 per cent off on all items – conditions apply”.

However, it was found that the offer excluded already discounted items.

Another supermarket sold Diwali lights that had no price tags and the supermarket exacerbated the sale of this product by selling it in wet packaging.

This again was alarming for the Council because the product deemed unfit for sale and unsafe for use.

Along the Suva-Lami corridor, popular supermarkets for Lami dwellers were seen to sell expired food products such as mustard oil and roti flour.

The problem did not only end there but the flour was found to have maggots in them.

Despite the product lacking qual­ity, the supermarket decided to put it up for sale.

Another supermarket who con­stantly fails to engage in fair business practices was selling repacked imported products that did not contain any nutrient infor­mation on the product packaging/labels.

The Council was also devastated by the fact that the supermarket championed itself as one of the best unscrupulous traders by tam­pering the expiry dates of these repacked imported products.

The common unethical practice traders are seen to make in light of their Diwali specials this year is misleading advertisements, prices and sales notices.

The Council has warned traders found to engage in unfair trade practices with some of them rec­tifing the issues that were high­lighted to them on the spot while others have been issued with wa­ming letters.

Hence, the Council will continue to monitor this and seeks ALL traders to refrain from fraudulent and corrupt business practices in order to maintain transparency, ethics and honesty in all business-consumer transactions.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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