Voltic Ghana Limited, producers of mineral water and six sachet water producing companies have been dragged to the Kumasi High Court (Commercial Division) over unfair trade practices.
Joined to the suit is the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA)
The six companies are Nivaansh Manufacturing Limited, A.R. Zare, Adat Water Limited, Straight Gate Ministry, Tasty Urban Water Limited and Right River Enterprise.
The action was brought against them by Century Investment, a limited liability company engaged in the production and sale of sachet water.
It is seeking a declaration that the arrangement under which the six sachet water producers with a Voltic Ghana franchise, have been producing sachet water under the label ‘Voltic Cool Pac’ constitutes “unfair trading, deception of consumers and the public, and passing off [False presentation]”.
Additionally, it is asking for an order of injunction restraining them and all other producers of sachet water from further producing sachet water under that label – brand name.
It also wants the court to award damages and cost.
In its statement of claim, it said Voltic Ghana had been producing, packaging and selling bottled natural mineral water with the registered brand name “Voltic” under license by the FDA.
Nivaansh, Zare, Adat, Tasty Urban, Straight Gate and Right River are all limited liability companies with separate registered offices and licensed by the FDA to produce and sell sachet water.
The FDA, it said was the regulatory body mandated by law to regulate the safety and provide standards for the sale of food (which by definition includes water) and drugs in Ghana among other duties.
The seven companies have for some time now been producing “sachet water in 500 ml” with the label “Cool Pac” but on the larger packs containing 30 pieces of “500ml” sachet water, the name ‘Voltic’ is added to read ‘Voltic Cool Pac’.
It said Voltic Ghana claimed to have given franchise to the six companies among other producers to produce, package and market sachet water with the inscription ‘Voltic Cool Pac’
It stated that the process of producing bottled mineral and sachet water was not the same.
It insisted that it was unlawful for “a person to manufacture, label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive as regards its character, nature, substance or quality”.
The arrangement under which the other companies are using the franchise of Voltic Ghana to produce sachet water under the label and/or brand name ‘Voltic Cool Pac’ constituted a deception of the unsuspecting consumers, unfair trading and amounted to passing off.