The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has issued new directives to bread manufacturers. The new orders come after a recent probe revealed non-compliance to provisions of the Competition Act and other relevant standards.
In a statement, CAK revealed that some manufactures were misleading consumers. The regulator also revealed that some of the bakers did not provide expiry dates on their bread wrappers. Others were printing them illegibly on the seals. In other cases, the manufacturers omitted the applicable month in the expiry dates.
The authority’s investigators also found out that some of the manufacturers failed to provide the weight of their bread products and ingredients. Others marketed their bread as fortified but did not specify the alleged nutrients/vitamins used.
“Some brands misled consumers that their products contained milk or butter whereas they did not. These actions amount to making false and misleading representations to consumers of goods and services and are in contravention of section 55(a)(i) of the Competition Act. Further, the bread manufacturers were not adhering to product information standards as prescribed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). This conduct is contrary to section 60(1) of the Competition Act,” the statement read in part.
Consequently, Mr. Wang’ombe Kariuki, the Authority’s Director-General, has ordered manufacturers to ensure compliance with the requirements of the KS EAS 38:2014 and KS EAS 43: 2012 Standards. This includes 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.
The bakers are also required to correctly indicate the expiry date of the bread by adjusting the information on the wrappers to Best Before as opposed to Sell By. They are also required to clearly specify the vitamins and minerals used in fortification of their bread.
“To ensure compliance with the Order, the Authority hereby requires and orders all bread manufacturers in Kenya to adhere to the above requirements with immediate effect. The Authority shall continuously undertake spot-checks to establish compliance with all the directives,” CAK said.
Consumers have also been asked to report any cases of non-compliance to the Authority through its website.