Peak body Australian Made Campaign has welcomed action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against a footwear company for using misleading Australian Made labelling.
Kingdom Groups International Pty Ltd which trades under ‘Aries Sheepskin’ sells Chinese-manufactured ugg boots and footwear but according to the ACCC, the product labelling suggests the products have been made in Junee, Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory.
Following an investigation, ACCC found that on reasonable grounds Kingdom Groups had breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representation of the country of origin of its branded UGG Aries Sheepskin Australia footwear.
The website shows images of the product with labelling displaying the kangaroo logo and ‘truly Australian made’ statements.
But the products were found to have been manufactured in China.
The ACCC issued an infringement notice to Kingdom Groups, which has subsequently paid a penalty of $10,800.
In a statement, ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said it is concerning to see a brand wrongly use the Australian Made logo.
“Country of origin claims are a particularly valuable marketing tool for businesses, as many consumers place a premium on goods that are Australian made,” said Schaper.
“In circumstances where consumers must rely on labels to identify where a product is made, it is particularly important that suppliers ensure that any country of origin claims they make are true.”
Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive Ian Harrison said in a statement Australia is a “target for copycat manufacturers and frauds” because of its reputation for producing high-quality goods and produce.
“Consumers look for the Australian Made logo to identify genuine Aussie products, and Australian farmers and manufacturers rely on it to market their products, so it is of the utmost importance that we protect the integrity of the brand,” he said.
Harrison hopes this case will send a strong message to other businesses.
“Misuse of the logo will not be tolerated,” he said.
SmartCompany attempted to contact with Kingdom Groups International Pty Ltd through it’s operating business name Aries Sheepskin but has been unable to contact the business prior to publication.