Kenya: Soko Flour Maker Hit With Sh600,000 Fine for Misleading Labelling

The competition watchdog has fined the miller of Soko maize flour Sh600,000 for misrepresenting the quality and ingredients of the brand to consumers.

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) said Thika-based Capwell Industries opted to enter into a settlement agreement after a sector-wide investigation found it was not compliant with relevant "consumer information standards and labelling requirements".

The miller, together with Pembe Flour Mills Ltd, was found to have contravened section 55(a)(i) of the Competition Act, which touches on breaches on "standard, quality, value, grade and composition" of the product.

CAK director-general Wango'mbe Kariuki said in a gazette notice on Friday Capwell undertook "to comply with the provisions of the Act and all applicable relevant consumer information standards with respect to labelling of the products".

The CAK flagged the two brands following an investigation into major retail stores on fortification and labelling claims millers made in the financial year ended June 2020.

"This was a labelling issue based on the 2010 nutritional table as opposed to the revised one of 2016," Capwell Industries chief executive Rajan Shah said on phone. "The composition of the product still met the nutritional requirements."

It was not clear yet how much fine has been slapped on Pembe Mills Ltd.

The CAK disclosed in the annual report in May "no consumer harm was established" by the investigations that found that the majority of the manufacturers of maize flour "had complied with labelling standards".

The CAK in a recent market investigation report on manufacturers of wheat flour and related products, however, established that several bread makers flouted labelling standards. Some of the bakers, the CAK found, failed to provide manufacturing and expiry dates on bread wrappers, while others printed them illegibly on the seals.

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