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Pressure mounts to ban supermarkets’ use of fake farm names | UK | News UK News

They are accused of creating fictitious names that give the impression that their own-brand products come from homely small-scale suppliers.

But the products – which include fruit and vegetables as well as meat and honey – could come from any of hundreds of producers in the UK or as far away as Spain, Morocco and Chile.

The tactic was highlighted by farm industry leaders in evidence last week to MPs investigating supermarkets.

Guy Singh-Watson, founder of the veg box delivery company Riverford Organic, said: “Every supermarket has them, but Tesco is the worst as far as I am aware. Tesco has eight farms that they brand their produce from that do not exist. They are a figment of the imagination. This is clearly misleading the consumer.

“Whoever buys the food needs to be properly informed about where it is coming from and how it is produced.”

“The British public do want to know where their food comes from, they do care.”

“My business is based on that, and they are willing to pay more when they know where it comes from.”

“If they are being hoodwinked the whole time, they will go for whatever is cheapest, which drives the price down and down. My plea is to make that practice of a fictitious farm illegal.”

Phoney brands at Tesco include Rosedene and Suntrail Farms for fruit, vegetables from Redmere Farms, Nightingale Farms salads and Willow Farms poultry.

There’s also pork from Woodside Farms, Boswell Farms beef and fish from Bay Fishmongers. Aldi uses Ashfields for meat while Lidl opts for Oaklands, Birchwood and Strathvale.

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has signalled a review of rules.

The British Retail Consortium said: “Food retailers source the vast majority of their food from British farmers.

“Some supermarkets use farm brands to help customers identify key product ranges, reassuring shoppers of the level of quality.”

Tesco, Aldi and Lidl have been approached for comment.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-14 22:52:00

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