Bakery chain BreadTalk has entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) to commit itself to fair practices.
Earlier this month, BreadTalk came under fire after a picture of its mis-marketing soya bean milk started circling online. The picture shows an employee pouring pre-package soya bean milk into bottles that were marketed and labelled as “freshly prepared”. According to BreadTalk, an operational oversight occurred whereby bottles that were intended to be used to pack fresh fruit juices and labelled “freshly prepared” were wrongly used to pack the soya bean milk at the store level.
In addition, BreadTalk is giving away 50,000 of its pork floss buns over three weekends starting 28 August, in an effort to regain consumers’ trust after the chain was caught mis-labelling its soya milk.
In a joint statement to Marketing, BreadTalk confirmed that it has voluntarily donated an amount of SG$50,000 to the Community Chest as a remedial action and as part of its VCA which was signed on 18 August.
“By signing the VCA, BreadTalk has agreed that besides ceasing its practice of selling soya bean milk in the mis-labelled bottles, it will not engage in unfair practices going forward,” the statement said.
George Quek, founder and chairman, BreadTalk Group said, “We sincerely apologise for the frustration and disappointment this has caused our customers recently. Fifteen years ago, I founded this company based on our Asian values of integrity and sincerity. We will continue to strive to attain these by closely listening to the community where we grew up in. Guided by these principles, BreadTalk will continue to improve and live up to the standards that the community has set for us.”
“CASE is committed towards protecting consumers’ interest and promoting an environment of fair and ethical trade practices. We are glad that BreadTalk has been cooperative and has taken immediate action to prevent such future incidents,” Lim Biow Chuan, president of CASE, said.
“BreadTalk strives to deliver quality products to our customers and adhere to the highest ethical standards. The trust of our customers is of utmost importance to us,” Quek added.
BreadTalk was also involved in another PR gaffe when it created a new bun to commemorate the late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. It was quick to remedy the situation by giving away free bread to those in line to pay respects to the late Minister Mentor. It also donated SG$30,000 to Community Chest along with an apology for its actions.