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Bakeries boss calls it quits after carbon tax controversy
09/07/2012 - Brumby's bakeries boss Deane Priest has quit over the carbon tax controversy.
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Priest told Brumby's franchisees in a June newsletter, made public this week, that they should "let the carbon tax take the blame" for price rises.
A spokeswoman for parent company Retail Food Group (RFG) said on Friday Priest had resigned from the group, effective immediately.
"That resignation has been accepted," she said in a statement.
The comments by Priest, who joined RFG in 2007, were described by its CEO Tony Alford as an "unacceptable error of judgment".
Meanwhile, a memo to franchisees from RFG's marketing and innovation director, Tracey Catterall, obtained by the ABC, says the company is planning to "win back the hearts and trust" of Brumby's customers in a campaign involving newspaper advertisements and social media.
Franchisees have also been asked to remove Liberal Party posters which suggest prices have gone up because of the carbon tax.
"We have not had the opportunity to inspect these placards and therefore have not formed any opinion as to their legality," Catterall wrote.
"Both RFG and the Brumby's bakery system are apolitical organisations.
"We would ask that any franchisee who continues to display the placards referenced above immediately remove them from their business premises."
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the move showed that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was putting businesses at risk of breaching consumer laws.
"If businesses make false carbon price claims they run the risk of ... a $1.1 million fine for misleading consumers," Combet said in a statement.
Brumby's has posted a plea on its Facebook page to customers to support local stores.
"Please don't blame the people at your local Brumby's store for a serious error at head office," the posting said.
"They are innocent victims in this situation.
"At the heart of every Brumby's store are hard-working people running a small business. Please give them your support."
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