Supplier Says $82 Lamb Chops Were 'Incorrectly Labelled'
A frozen packet of lamb chops priced at $82.27 has caused outrage after a photo was shared online by a Queensland woman.
Palm Island local Sondra Gorringe posted an image of the frozen pack of chops to Facebook on Friday, showing the price at $39.99 per kilo, totalling $82.27.
"The price on this meat," Gorringe wrote.
"... Could get a meat pack for that price."
Gorringe claimed the chops were displayed for sale at the Community Enterprise Queensland (CEQ) which provides groceries to the remote Indigenous community.
CEQ's website states it provides "goods and services to Torres Strait, NPA and mainland Aboriginal communities in remote areas".
Following online outrage, a CEQ spokesperson said the meat pack had been incorrectly labelled and apologised for the inconvenience.
"As soon as our Palm Island store staff identified the issue, the item was removed from display and withdrawn from sale," the spokesperson said.
The lamb supplier, Warwick Meats, told 10 daily the price debate had been "blown out of proportion".
The company's Facebook page has been flooded with complaints about the cost of the lamb chops, with one person saying it was a "bloody disgraceful act".
Shane Leehy, Warwick Meats Sales Manager, explained that the prices are not set by them.
"We just put the label on them," he said.
Leehy confirmed the chops had been mislabelled, as they should have been labelled "family pack".
"There are 18 chops in there, it's over two kilos," he said.
Speaking to NITV, Gorringe said inflated prices on Palm Island, which is located 60 kilometres north of Townsville, is a common problem.
"For shampoo and conditioner, they're about $9.00 each here, and then in Townsville, they're only like three or four dollars," she said.
"It used to be community-owned but now we have CEQ and the prices are pretty high."
However, Leehy said, in this case, the chops were priced to reflect transport expenses, which is a trip of more than 1,200 kilometres.
"Regular prices around Queensland are between $25 and $30 a kilo," he said.
"But the freight component of costs bumps the price up."
Leehy explained products from Warwick Meats leave by truck to Cairns, where it is then taken to Palm Island by barge.
"There is one barge company up there so they have a monopoly," he said.