THE Consumer Council of Fiji has called on a local supermarket to refrain from misleading the public about its status as a trader with substantial goodwill and reputation.
This follows a public statement by Hansons Supermarket Limited recently rejecting claims and remarks by the Fiji Commerce Commission of its alleged poor trading practises.
"The Fiji Commerce Commission has made statements to the media on raids it has allegedly carried out and has made certain remarks on the trading practices of Hansons Supermarket Limited," the company said in a statement.
"Hansons Supermarket Limited rejects those remarks as being inaccurate and misleading and denies all allegations made by the Fiji Commerce Commission.
"Fiji Commerce Commission has also threatened that it will take legal proceedings against it.
"Hansons Supermarket Limited will vigorously defend any proceedings taken by the Fiji Commerce Commission against it in a court of law."
Refuting this, council chief executive officer Premila Kumar said they had recorded many bad practises by the supermarket over the past several years.
"Our market surveillance and complaints record can attest to this," Mrs Kumar said.
She said the council's letters to the supermarket were most often not replied to and the supermarket's Makoi outlet continued to be a problem as their regular market surveillance had found many problems from expired goods to unhygienic conditions.
"Our market surveillance found a dirty spice section at the store and requested them to take necessary action," she said.
"The council finds it rather naive for Hansons to publicly declare itself as a trader that has 'substantial goodwill and reputation and will continue providing the excellent service that it has been doing over the years'."
The alleged below-standard of service at the supermarket had prompted the council to include Hansons Supermarket Limited in a must-check list during its regular market surveillance.