23 Jun 2014

Samoa govt complains to NZ Commerce Commission

8:50 am on 23 June 2014

The Samoan government has filed a complaint to the New Zealand Commerce Commission in a bid to have coconut cream made in Asia, labelled as though it is from Samoa, to be taken off the shelf.

The chief executive officer of the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour, Auelua Samuelu Enari, says the products mislead New Zealand consumers into believing they are purchasing Samoan-made coconut cream.

He says the labels use Samoan words, terms such as "Samoan style" and imagery significant to Samoa such as fine mat, taro root and green bananas.

"It's identical to our local coconut cream and it passes like it was made here in Samoa, which in this case, it's not. Because we have so many Pacific Islanders in New Zealand I think the Asian people are now producing coconut cream, targeting our people in New Zealand."

Auelua Samuelu Enari says Samoa's sole manufacturer and exporter of coconut cream is losing a lot of profit.

Auelua is urging consumers to check where the coconut cream they are buying is from.