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LETTER: When a 10lb bag of potatoes only weighs 8lbs

To be fair, besides the sting of the quantity of the potatoes, I am impressed by the quality and freshness of the product

Editor's note: Mr. Hughes is President at EarthFresh Farms. 


To the editor:

Mr Tom Hughes, and the staff at Earth Fresh Foods.  

I hope this email finds you in good health.  I am writing you concerning the actual weights of the bags of your potatoes that I recently bought.  I have bought a total of 16 bags of 10 pound, Earth Fresh Canadian potatoes, from my local Walmart in North Bay, Ontario.  Your potatoes were listed on sale this week at 1$ CAD for 10 pounds, 4.45 kg of fresh Canadian potatoes.  These potatoes were listed in my local flyer and on my Flipp app set to my local stores.  

The reason I am concerned is because the weight of the product is low.  

Each and every bag of potatoes was underweight.  The lowest weight is 8 lb 3oz. (3.71 kg for the rest of the cultured world) The heaviest is 9 lb 13oz.  These were weighed on two different kitchen scales and I tested the accuracy by weighing exactly 1 litre of water to exactly 1 kg.  The weight of the potatoes was done using full, unopened bags.  The weights also include the weight of the paper packaging which is 1.68 oz or 47 grams.  

I am an engineer and appreciate the simplicity of communication with accuracy.  

My concern is mostly because of my lack of faith in the truthfulness and honesty of your company.  I am also hoping to inform you of your quality control at your Grand Bend, Ontario packing plant.  My hope is that this problem in your production can be rectified.  

Let me be a little more clear.  I am upset that I intended to buy the advertised potatoes for the price that was listed.  What I got was 15 to almost 20% less product that you advertise on your packaging.  This is unacceptable. 

To be fair, besides the sting of the quantity of the potatoes, I am impressed by the quality and freshness of the product.  I bought the potatoes because they were listed at an incredible sale.  I have a huge garden and can’t grow my own for that price.  I also have a wonderful underground root cellar and can store these delicious, fresh Canadian potatoes for a long time.  This saves me money on my family's food bill.  It also reduces my carbon footprint by reducing my trips to town and reducing climate control energy consumption to store fresh products.  

Please explain to me why each of your bags of Earth Fresh Foods potatoes was low in weight.  I would like to know if you sold the potatoes to Walmart knowing they were underweight at a reduced price.  I want to know who to blame for the misinformation, shrinkflation, or outright fraud.  At this point, I have to assume that Walmart Corp knew that they were buying a defective product and It was their choice to deceive the clientele. I know that Walmart is a disingenuous retailer and the distraction of an unbelievable price for the bag of potatoes was their choice.  My faith in humanity wants me to believe that this is simply a quality control issue but my skeptical self senses something more nefarious. 

Please inform me how you would like to test my claims and also how you would endeavour to make things right. I am a fairly affluent member of my community. I have never written to a corporation to complain about the quality or quantity of a product.  Earth Fresh Foods has the dubious distinction of inspiring my first complaint correspondence. These disgusting business practices have inspired my need for social justice.   

I have included both my local news agency and my national public news agency to highlight this malpractice in business and also invite them to keep me honest and check for themselves. I am sure an honest and contrite response would solve any negative press.  Included below are pictures of the actual weights and the listing on the flipp app.  Investigate accordingly.  

Yours truly and honestly,

Justin W

Corbeil Ontario.

Editor's note: BayToday reached out to EarthFresh Foods for its response. 

Colleen Wilcox-Hammer, the Food Safety Manager wrote, "We have been in touch with the customer and have requested the information that is needed to conduct a thorough investigation." BayToday asked to interview Ms. Wilcox-Hammer but received no response.