Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Farm owner sentenced to home detention for egg deception

Forest Hill Farm owner sentenced to home detention for free range egg deception


Mr John Garnett, owner of now-defunct Northland egg producer Forest Hill Farm, has been sentenced to 12 months home detention and 200 hours community service in the Whangarei District Court today for falsely packaging and selling cage eggs as free range or barn-laid eggs.

In June, Mr Garnett pleaded guilty to 20 Crimes Act charges brought by the Commerce Commission.

In sentencing, Judge Harvey said he considered it to be very serious offending and had resulted in the public being severely let down. He indicated that public confidence would be diminished by this deliberate offending over a considerable period of time which was done to deceive customers.

Between April 2010 and November 2011 Mr Garnett and his company packaged cage eggs into cartons labelled as “free range” or “barn-laid” eggs and sold those eggs to retailers. The retailers, including several large supermarkets in Auckland and Northland, believed the contents were genuine and as described on the cartons, so sold them to customers. The Commission estimates that Forest Hill Farm made an additional $376,000 from the sale of over 206,000 dozen falsely labelled eggs with a retail value in excess of $1 million.

“We considered the conduct in this case to be very serious as it was calculated and deliberate. We only became aware of Mr Garnett’s actions after members of the egg producing industry made a complaint to the Commission,” said Commerce Commission Consumer Manager Stuart Wallace. “The conduct was also particularly deceptive because it was impossible for the public to detect – you can’t tell the difference between a cage egg and a barn-laid or free range egg by looking at them.”

“Consumers who purchased these eggs were subject to a serious breach of trust by the trader. It’s likely that consumers who purchase free range eggs do so as a matter of principle, as they are significantly more expensive than cage eggs. We think consumers are entitled to trust what traders tell them, particularly where the consumer has no way of independently verifying the claims being made.”

“Not only have consumers and retailers been misled, but there is also the potential harm caused to other businesses in the industry. Mr Garnett’s actions might have a negative impact on the reputation of all free range egg producers as consumers lose confidence in their products,” said Mr Wallace.

“The Commission is pleased by the sentence handed down in the case as it sends a clear message to the business community that those intending to defraud the public will be caught and the penalties can be serious,” concluded Mr Wallace.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news