Jobbie nut butter fined RM7,000 for 2 labelling issues


As Malaysians, many of us don’t really know the fine print of the 1985 Food Regulations that list requirements for businesses in order to ensure products safe for consumers.

While local small and medium-sized enterprises are slowly reclaiming their business from months of lockdown, a Malaysian peanut butter brand called Jobbie is going viral on social media for sharing their experience of getting an RM7,000 fine from health authorities for not complying with food labelling regulations.


The story behind Jobbie’s RM7,000 fine


Jobbie nut butter fined
Image credit: Jobbie Nut Butter

On 4th October 2021, KL-based peanut butter brand Jobbie took to Facebook to share an incident that led to them getting a hefty fine from health officials who showed up at its headquarters to check its products after receiving a complaint that they were unsafe.

“Please provide some of your peanut butter product samples and few supporting documents so we can commence our investigation,” the authorities had said to their staff.

Jobbie reveals that it was the first time in their seven years of operation that they were presented with a situation like this. But a few days after the inspection, they were informed by the officers that their products were completely safe for consumption.

Nonetheless, they were still given a fine for two labelling issues which took the business owners by surprise – as the officers who had showed up at their headquarters were there to check for rancid products at first.

According to Jobbie Nut Butter’s Facebook post, they were issued fines firstly for not using the Malay language on their product packaging and secondly because the word “natural” was used on their product labelling to advertise the products. So they were given a total fine of RM7,000.


Jobbie’s advice for fellow Malaysian SMEs to avoid a potential fine


Jobbie nut butter fine
Image credit: KY Gan

Deeply saddened and shocked by the incident, Jobbie felt that it was necessary to share their experience with Malaysians to caution fellow SMEs who may face a similar situation in the future.

Towards the end of their long Facebook post, Jobbie also mentioned that it was actually their competitor – whose identity they kept hidden – that made the complaint and not an actual customer. They said their competitor had been doing such things for a long time but they hope with their sharing, the Malaysian business ground will become a much healthier competing field for everyone.

At the time of writing, the viral post has garnered over 4,600 reactions and 1,400 shares. A lot of Malaysians who commented on the post said the fines are justifiable since they are clearly stated in the food act, so businesses must follow them to avoid a fine. At the same time, many others were also feeling sympathetic towards Jobbie that they had to go through a difficult situation for the first time in their seven years of operations.


Jobbie nut butter brand getting fined for labelling issues


It’s indeed sad to know that Jobbie Nut Butter was fined a hefty RM7,000 for what they did not expect to be an issue in the first place.

But as netizens said, it’s important for business owners to adhere to local food regulations and the law to avoid going through a similar fate because RM7,000 can be a huge amount for many SMEs who have endured a tough time during repeated movement control orders.

Let’s not take rules for granted but follow them instead.

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Cover image adapted from: jobbienutbutter and jobbienutbutter

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