Formal Complaints Over 'Fake' Supermarket Farm Branding

UK - The National Farmers Union (NFU) has written to formally complain to National Trading Standards Institute over the use of ‘fake’ farm branding by retailers on some food products.
calendar icon 18 July 2016
clock icon 3 minute read

This follows concerns expressed by NFU members that the use of ‘fake’ farm labels can be misleading for shoppers resulting in them being at risk of mistakenly buying a product that differs from the product they thought they were buying.

The most recent and high profile example is Tesco’s introduction of brand names such as ‘Woodside Farms’ and ‘Boswell Farms’.

Meanwhile, at least three in five respondents to a YouGov survey commissioned by the NFU, who said these farm products in their view were ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ British, would feel misled if this was not the case and were told that the product could be from another country.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “The NFU’s legal team has looked at this carefully and as a result we are asking Trading Standards Institute to look at whether ‘fake’ farm branding complies with the relevant legal requirements.

“I urge all retailers to consider seriously the results of our survey which show that mixing imported product with British product under the same fictional farm name can be misleading to many of their customers. I am pleased that Aldi has now made a commitment to only source British product in their fictional farm brands by the end of March 2017.”

NFU Cymru President Stephen James, speaking at the start of this year’s Royal Welsh Show, said: “These fake farm brands are completely unacceptable and we believe are misleading consumers. This practice has been going on across the retail sector for a long time and enough is enough.”

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