Soko maize flour manufacturer has been fined Sh600,000 by Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) for misrepresenting the brand’s quality and ingredients to consumers.
Following an investigation into major retail stores on fortification and labelling claims in the financial year ending June 2020, the miller, together with Pembe Flour Mills Ltd, was found to have contravened section 55(a)(i) of the Competition Act, which touches on breaches on “standard, quality, value, grade and composition” of the product.
In a gazette notice, CAK director-general Wango’mbe Kariuki said that the Thika-based Capwell Industries promised to comply with the provisions of the consumer information standards and labelling Act.
“They promised to comply with the provisions of the Act and all applicable relevant consumer information standards with respect to labelling of the products,” he said.
Capwell opted to enter into a settlement agreement after a sector-wide investigation found it was not compliant with relevant “consumer information standards and labelling requirements”.
It was not yet clear how much fine has been imposed on Pembe Mills Limited.
In the May annual report, CAK revealed that no consumer harm was established from investigations that found that most corn flour manufacturers had complied with labelling standards.
However, in a recent market research report on manufacturers of wheat flour and related products, they found bakers to be enticing unsuspecting consumers with false advertising on ingredients in their products, if only to secure a spot in their toasters.
The manufacturers were found liable for failing to provide manufacturing dates on bread wrappers in the prescribed format with others omitting the applicable month in the expiry dates.
According to CAK the expiry date should “Best Before” as opposed to “Sell Before”.
The authority further, ordered manufacturers to comply with all requirements with immediate effect such as providing a list of ingredients and the net weight of products in grams.