April 04, 2009

Relabelling rumbled

Aldi has been caught out relabelling Israeli goods to pass them off in the Irish market as being from Cyprus. Here's the Cyprus Mail:
COMMERCE Minister Antonis Paschalides is looking into a humiliating blunder by a leading EU supermarket chain after it sold tons of Israeli fruit as ”Produce of Cyprus”, he said yesterday.

German-owned Aldi were left red-faced when they admitted to the Cyprus Mail that they had effectively misled thousands of Irish consumers by falsely labeling Israeli grapefruit as Cypriot produce.

Paschalides said yesterday he was looking into a report prepared by the Cyprus Embassy in Dublin about the deception.

Some Irish consumers even said they would boycott Cyprus produce until they knew it was genuinely Cypriot. The prospect could be damaging for Cypriot citrus growers.

“I have heard about this and have received the reports which I will study and am looking into the matter. I take these reports very seriously and will act accordingly,” Paschalides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

In a new twist yesterday, a photo was sent through from Ireland showing a box of ‘easy peelers’ pink grapefruit on sale at Irish supermarket giant Dunnes Stores. The label under the box says ‘Cyprus’ but the individual fruit have Jaffa stickers on them, which clearly identifies them Israeli produce.

A spokesman at Dunnes Stores yesterday told the Cyprus Mail there was no one there to comment.

Sotos A. Liassides, the Cypriot Ambassador to Dublin, told the Cyprus Mail on Tuesday that the Aldi ‘blunder’ had been corrected, but added that he would be keeping a close eye on the situation.
So the boycott Israeli goods campaign could hurt other countries that connive with Israel to pass exports off as coming from more legitimate states.

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