Caught for labeling Mexican grown vegetables as Canadian between 2012 and 2014, Leamington, Ontario-based AMCO Produce has been fined $210,000 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
A spokesman for the company could not be reached for comment March 20.
The Windsor Star reported that federal food investigators found the company was passing off Mexican vegetables as Canadian.
Between 2012 and 2014, the company intentionally mislabeled Mexican produce, including tomatoes and cucumbers, as being from Canada, according to the report. The products were sold to Sobeys Inc. and other retailers.
According to the Windsor Star, the case began after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency did a random inspection at the Ontario Food Terminal in February 2013. Greenhouse peppers were labeled as Ontario produce at a time of year when greenhouses in the area were idle because of the cold.
Later, inspectors examined AMCO’s records and found the company purchased products in Mexico and then relabeled them as Canadian and sold them to buyers in Canada.
Joe Sbrocchi, the general manager of the Leamington, Ontario-based Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, said the group is reviewing the facts of the case.
“I cannot comment on actions we might take at this time, as we have just started to review the facts internally, but can only communicate that we have previously demonstrated proscribed and robust procedures that we will now follow,” he said March 20.
In 2016, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency fined Kingsville, Ontario-based Mucci Pac Ltd., Mucci International Marketing and two executives $1.5 million for labeling Mexican produce as Canadian product.