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02.CHOICE CEO Message - April


Although hot cross buns have been on supermarket shelves since January, it's still hard to believe that Easter is almost upon us.

This brings us to the miracle of chocolate. The only chocolate brands I remember from my childhood are Cadbury, Nestle and Darrell Lea. But these days we’re faced with an explosion of choice. Even in the local supermarket, decisions between Australian and imported, fair trade and non-fair trade, Belgian and private label are now everyday dilemmas for many consumers.

To help you with your selection, we decided to put a number of brands to the test. There was no shortage of CHOICE staff willing to volunteer for this job, but to share the fun, we also invited some CHOICE members and expert tasters to help us out. Find out more about what they liked (and didn’t like) in our report.

Chocolate bunnies may make us happy, but many people find the idea of testing cosmetics on rabbits distressing. Over the past 12 months, we’ve been zeroing in on the “cruelty-free” claims of major cosmetics companies – particularly those that trade in China, where animal testing is a standard part of the regulatory arrangements.

Imagine our surprise when, late last year, we received a tip off that The Body Shop products were on sale in China. We put Zoya Sheftalovich on a plane to Shanghai and Beijing, where she had no trouble buying official Body Shop products in airport stores. This means that the products were at risk of being removed and tested on animals by Chinese authorities – a risk that’s inconsistent with the company’s promise of being against animal testing. Read more about Zoya’s investigation and The Body Shop’s response.

If your interest in animals is a little closer to home, you’ve probably experienced the distress of an unexpected vet bill. Many people take out pet insurance to prepare for this situation. Our report will take you through some of the tips and tricks of these products and help you to decide whether pet insurance is worth the premiums.

Finally, changes to our credit reporting laws kicked in during the last month, and everyone should read our report  to find out how to avoid trouble. Most credit providers will now be required to report late payments when they are made more than five days after the due date. This means it is more important than ever to know what’s on your credit report and ensure that it’s accurate. We tell you how to go about obtaining a free copy – something the credit reporting agencies make surprisingly difficult!

Alan Kirkland, CEO

Twitter: @AlanKirkland


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