Ex-Top Pot Bakery chief may face travel ban
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei prosecutors yesterday refused to rule out placing a travel ban on a former Top Pot Bakery President surnamed Chuang after he failed to appear for questioning over the firm's alleged fraud.
August 26, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Top Pot Bakery was recently busted by the Taipei City Government and Taipei prosecutors for adding artificial essences into its bread; the bakery boasts in advertisements that its bread is made with natural ingredients and zero favoring essences.
Prosecutors on Saturday night inspected Top Pot Bakery's import and sales records as well as summoned the bakery's current president, Hsu Hsun-ping (徐洵平), general manager Benson Hsu (徐志鴻) and accountants for questioning.
These individuals reportedly claimed that they did not know the details of the firm's import and sales records as they only took over managing the business on Aug. 19.
Prosecutors yesterday summoned the former Top Pot Bakery President Chuang, a former vice general manager surnamed Hung, a store manager surnamed Wang, and the chief baker surnamed Jiang. Chuang however, did not show up for his scheduled questioning session.
Wang was cited by prosecutors as saying that the firm's headquarters is in charge of marketing, and that store managers only put up advertisements sent to them in their stores. Jiang is responsible for providing recipes, Wang added.
Taipei prosecutors said they have collected flavoring essences from stores and will compare them with the products of Top Pot Bakery's ingredient providers.
“You can only cheat consumers for a while; you cannot cheat them forever,” said Taipei Bakery Association Chairman Chang Kuo-jung (張國榮) in reference to the controversy.
Chang said he believes that all the flavoring that Top Pot Bakery has added to products is edible; however, bakery operators should take this incident as a lesson and tell their consumers the production details of their products.
Top Pot Bakery has become popular with marketing targets those wishing to eat healthy and all-natural ingredients. It has also received a boost from brand spokespeople such as Dee Hsu (徐熙娣, also known as Little S).
A consumer of Top Pot Bakery in Hong Kong recently posted an article on the Internet questioning if the bakery has added artificial essences to the bread, as their products have very strong favors. The article has been forwarded on the Internet and raised heated discussion in Taiwan.
The Taipei City Government on Thursday inspected one of the bakery branches and discovered that artificial flavoring essences was being added to the bread. The city government later fined the firm NT$180,000 for deceptive advertising, and handed the case to Taipei prosecutors.