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Competitions Authority orders bread makers to show weight of loaf

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has ordered bread makers to print weight, expiry date, and fortification ingredients on wrappers of the commodity.

In a statement, CAK said that it has noted a trend by some manufacturers to omit the exact weight of bread they sell, a move that could cost consumers their value for money.

In its investigations targeting bread manufacturers, the competition watchdog also found bakers to be enticing unsuspecting consumers with false advertising on ingredients in a bid to increase sales.

“The manufacturers failed to provide the weight of their bread products and ingredients, while 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,” said Wang’ombe Kariuki, CAK Director-General.

Buttered or not, consumers could also be unknowingly munching expired loaves as the investigations revealed that some manufacturers omitted applicable months in the expiry date printed on the packaging as required by Kenya Bureau of Standards specifications.

“Specifically, the undertakings were not providing the manufacturing date/month on their bread wrappers in the prescribed format while others were printing them illegibly on the seals,” he added.

According to CAK the expiry date should “Best Before” as opposed to “Sell Before”.

According to CAK some bread manufacturers also defied regulations set by the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (Kebs).

Following these discoveries, CAK ordered all bread manufacturers to ensure compliance with section 55(a) (i) of the Competition Act, provide a list of ingredients and weight of their products, and print production dates on the commodity.

Additionally, the authority directed that fortified bread have specified vitamins and nutrients clearly printed on them.

Weights and Measurement Act requires manufacturers to sell you loaf with a net weight of 200 grams, 400 grams, 600 grams, 800 grams, 1 kilogram, or 1.5 kilograms clearly marked on the wrapper as well as the last date by which the bread may be sold.

Though no harm is yet to be reported due to the contraventions, the authority has ordered manufacturers to comply with all requirements with immediate effect.

Failure to comply, manufacturers found guilty risk imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding Sh10 million or both.