Settlement: Turns Out A Product Has To Actually Be Made In Vermont To Bear That Label

When you hear the word “Vermont,” perhaps images of snowy peaks, crackling, cozy fires and maple syrup spring to mind. It’s a winter wonderland! Everything from there smells of snow and touch of roasting marshmallows! But just because you want people to associate your product with the wintry northern state doesn’t mean you can just slap a “Made In Vermont” Label on it and call it a day.

That’s the chilly lesson a Massachusetts-based mints-maker is learning after it reached a settlement with its northerly neighbor, after mislabeling its VerMints tins as Vermont products, reports the Associated Press.

The state attorney general’s office sued the company in 2012, saying that the metal tins sold between 2006 and 2011 shouldn’t have borne the label: “Vermont’s All Natural Mints.” That’s because they were actually manufactured in Canada with ingredients mostly not from Vermont.

And just because you know customers would maybe have a soft spot for Vermont, well, you can’t mislabel things without violating consumer protection rules.

VerMints has agreed to make amends and settle by donating $35,000 to the Vermont Foodbank, pay the state $30,000 and correct its products’ labels.

“Use of the term ‘Vermont’ has great economic value,” said Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, “and many businesses go to the expense of sourcing their ingredients and processing within the state in order to market their products as Vermont products. We need to maintain a level playing field when it comes to claims of geographic origin, and to ensure that consumers who care about where their food comes from get accurate information in the marketplace.”

Vermont Settles With Maker of Mislabeled VerMints [Associated Press]