Following a year-long investigation, four New Zealand juice companies are facing censure by the country's Commerce Commission over marketing and labeling of products. Two companies are to be taken to court, one will be warned and another has reached settlement with the Commission.

The commission is taking court action against Brownlie Brothers over the labeling of its Simply Squeezed and Supreme Orange Juice brands, and against Freshly Squeezed for its Arano brand. The proceedings could result in fines of up to NZ$100,000 per charge for each company.

Deborah Battell, the Commission's director of fair trading, said that in both cases misleading representations relating to the freshness, content and origin of the juice, were found to have been made. Consumers had been led to believe that the products were 100% freshly squeezed New Zealand orange juice, when both contained imported concentrate.

The Commission said it had reached a settlement with Progressive Enterprises over the labeling of its OrganicZ brand which gave the impression it was 100% squeezed New Zealand orange juice but also in fact contained imported concentrate. Four other companies had been found in breach of regulations relating to labeling and website content, the Commission added.