Trading Commission fine Castel, Peoples Trading Centre over expired products

In a landmark ruling, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFCT) ordered Castel Group Malawi Ltd (formerly Carlsberg Malawi) to pay a fine of K35.416 million (about $47,000) for supplying the market with products likely to cause harm to consumers.

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This followed an investigation which the Commission conducted which established that Castel Group Malawi Ltd supplied 36,000 bottles of contaminated and defective SOBO Orange Squash batches number B284, B285, B286, and B287.

CFTC concluded that the defective batches of the product failed to comply with prescribed consumer safety standards in violation of section 43 (1) (e) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which prohibits manufacturers from supplying products which were likely to cause injury to health or physical harm to consumers.

The Commission further concluded that, following the discovery of the defective product, the company did not make timely communication to inform consumers about defect and the steps they needed to take to dispose of the product. That delay further endangered the health of consumers.

A statement released on Friday and signed by CFTC executive director Wezi Malonda, states that in line with Section 51 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, the Commission imposed a fine amounting to the financial gain generated by the offence to be paid within 30 days. The Commission ordered Castel Group to develop an appropriate product recall mechanism that prioritises consumer interests.

Additionally, CFTC ordered Castel an additional K500,000for supplying the market with products containing foreign objects likely to cause harm to consumers.

“This followed an investigation which the Commission conducted which established that Castel Group Malawi Ltd supplied three different products containing foreign objects. The affected products were: Cocacola, Sprite and Carlsberg Chill. The presence of the foreign objects on the three complaint products was confirmed by the Malawi Bureau of Standards as well as the manufacturer.

“The Commission concluded that the three complaint products failed to comply with prescribed consumer safety standards in violation of section 43 (1) (e) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which prohibits manufacturers from supplying products which were likely to cause injury to health or physical harm to consumers.In line with Section 51 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, the Commission imposed a minimum fine of MK500,000.00 to be paid within 30 days,” the press release reads.

In a related development, CFTC also ordered Peoples Trading Centre to pay a fine of K500,000 for engaging in misleading conduct with regard to pricing of chickens.

This followed an investigation which the Commission conducted which established that, in December 2017, the price tags on frozen chickens at Peoples Supersave in Lilongwe were different from the prices displayed at the till.

The Commission also established that the price differences, which caused consumer harm, were due to negligence.

It concluded that this was a clear infringement of Section 43(1)(d) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which prohibits traders from engaging in any conduct likely to mislead the public as to the nature, price, availability, characteristics, suitability for a given purpose, quantity or quality of any products or services.

CFTC also adjourned the case against alleged unconscionable conduct by Multichoice Malawi through quoting in foreign currency without authorization.

The Commission adjourned the matter to a later date pending the conclusion of ongoing settlement discussions between the parties.

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Kalenga ndi Mzake
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Kalenga ndi Mzake

Multi choice is a multinational company and we pay for a foreign product which I think is quoted in foreign currency. How about landlords who quote rentals for houses in dollars? How can a house built in Lilongwe or BT be quoted in dollars. What’s the basis?

QueenB
Guest
QueenB

My question is what happened to the contaminated or expired product? Was it recalled?
Is the MW government just realizing now that MultiChoice rates are in foreign currency? They have been like that since the beginning! Who are these sleepy people representing us?

kanchenga
Guest
kanchenga

At least they have wakened up. Unlike government that is making sick people sleep in toilets in our hospitals.

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