Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand has launched legal action against global banana producer Dole for attempting to trademark its ethical choice label.
Dole was warned by the Commerce Commission in June that it risked a Fair Trading Act breach after complaints its ethical choice stickers were misleading, in particular in suggesting it was certified by a third party, and made the company appear more ethical.
Fairtrade New Zealand operations manager Barnaby Luff said it had become increasingly worried about the way consumers appeared to think Dole's ethical choice stickers mean the company has been third-party verified.
On October 25 Fairtrade filed an opposition notice to Dole's bid to trademark the phrase "ethical choice" with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand. Dole has until December 29 to file a counter-statement or to abandon the trademark, said Iponz.
NZ-owned All Good Bananas founder Chris Morrison said the company began to bring in Fairtrade bananas from Ecuador in 2010. Fairfax NZ
- Taranaki Daily News
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