Ontario supplier charged with mislabelling chicken as organic

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An Ontario poultry producer that supplied meat to some of Canada’s largest grocers has been charged with mislabelling conventional chicken as “certified organic.” Representatives for Cericola Farms Inc., appeared in a Barrie courtroom on Monday to address for the first time eight charges alleging fraud, misrepresentation and false labelling after an investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Cericola Farms Inc. in “better food” movement

The Bradford, Ontario-based company markets itself as one of the country’s pioneers in organic chicken production, boasting of its history as one of the first to raise chickens free of antibiotics and animal byproducts for retailers such as Loblaws, Sobeys and Costco. Their website emphasizes the company’s role in the “better food” movement, and its products, sold through brands such as Blue Goose Pure Foods, typically sell for a substantial premium.

Heightened concerns over food fraud

The charges, laid late last month, come amid heightened concerns over food fraud, and represent the CFIA’s second high-profile mislabelling prosecution of a major commercial producer in recent years. Earlier this year, an investigation led to the successful conviction of an Ontario-based produce company, Mucci Pac Ltd., for falsely labelling imported vegetables as “Canadian.”

Read more about food fraud at The Globe and Mail.

This article is summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.