NFU lodges complaint about ‘fake’ farm branding

NFU president Meurig Raymond.

NFU president Meurig Raymond. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Farmers’ leaders have lodged an official complaint over the use of so-called ‘fake’ farm branding by retailers on some food products.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) says it has written to formally complain to National Trading Standards Institute over the practice following concerns raised by its members that the labels can be misleading for shoppers.

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

Three in five respondents to a YouGov survey commissioned by the NFU said these farm products in their view were ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ British, and that they 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 have spoken to senior management at Tesco to highlight our members’ concerns about the use of these fake farm brands. 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.

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“British farming is proud of its high standards and the NFU would be delighted to work with retailers to ensure that customers are given clear and unambiguous information about where their food comes from.”