A complaint about the way Coles supermarkets advertised its apples has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Bureau, while Coles argued the description was accurate because “advanced cold storage” helped them retain qualities such as “taste, texture, smell, size and colour” for a lengthy period of time.
In a TV ad, Coles described Tasmanian Pink Lady apples as being “fresh spring fruit”, despite them being in storage for months, but Coles says it won’t run the commercials again, according to ABC Rural online.
Fiona Jolly, from the Advertising Standards Bureau, said that most people understand fruit is stored in cool rooms and is still ‘fresh’, but it was the word ‘spring’ the watchdog had a problem with.
“The reference to spring fruit makes it a very strong inference that fruit is spring fresh fruit,” she said.
Several experts said a synthetic gas, SmartFresh, could extend the shelf life of some fruit by up to two years and put fruit to “sleep” so that there’s hardly any metabolism going on.
Stephen Morris, a postharvest quality scientist in Sydney said, “Some apples can have their first birthday before being sold to the public”.
According to Dr Morris, director of Sydney Postharvest Laboratory, half of Australia’s apples were now being treated at farms and warehouses with SmartFresh, owned by agricultural giant Dow. The synthetic gas is also applied to pears, kiwifruits, mangoes and stone fruits.
Meanwhile, a blind New South Wales woman Gisele Mesnage, has taken an unlawful discrimination claim against Coles seeking changes to make the Coles supermarkets website accessible for people who are blind or vision impaired.