UK Farmers union complains to trading Chartered Trading Standards Institute over fake farm branding by Tesco

20 Jul 2016


The UK farmers' union has lodged an official complaint over the misleading use of farm names by UK supermarkets.

In a complaint to Chartered Trading Standards Institute, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has  sought to draw attention to the fake farm branding by supermarkets on some food products.

Chartered Trading Standards Institute is a professional membership association that works to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of citizens

Singling out Tesco and its seven made-up farm brands, which were launched earlier this year, the NFU claimed the fictitious brands misled consumers as it made them believe they were buying products farmed in the UK.

Of the people who believed such products were ''definitely'' or ''probably'' British, 60 per cent admitted they would feel misled if they were informed that it came from overseas, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by the NFU.

In March, Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain drew flak over its new range of farm food as it was revealed all the farms named on the packaging were entirely made up.

Tesco's Willow Farms whole chicken, Boswell Farms diced beef and Rosedene Farms blueberries were sourced from manufacturers that had no relation to the names on the packaging of the final product. A number of foods were imported from overseas and given British names to make them sound local.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) contends that the use of such labels – even when accompanied by official country of origin details could be misleading for shoppers.

The NFU cites the most recent and high profile example - Tesco's introduction of brand names such as "Woodside Farms" and "Boswell Farms" which resulted in putting consumers at risk of mistakenly buying a product that differed from the product they thought they were buying.

According to Meurig Raymond, NFU president, the organisation's legal team had looked at the issue carefully and, as a result, formally written to the National Trading Standards asking them to investigate whether the branding complied with the relevant legal requirements.

"I have spoken to senior management at Tesco to highlight our members' concerns about the use of these fake farm brands," The Herald  quoted Raymond.

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