The managing director of bakery chain Brumby’s has quit over the carbon tax controversy.
Deane Priest told Brumby’s franchisees in a June newsletter they should “let the carbon tax take the blame” for price rises.
A spokeswoman for parent company Retail Food Group said on today Mr Priest had resigned from the group effective immediately.
“That resignation has been accepted,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
The comments by Mr Priest were described by RFG’s 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 due to the carbon tax.
“We have not had the opportunity to inspect these placards and therefore have not formed any opinion as to their legality,” Ms 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.”
Later, Brumby’s 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.”