News & views
Deceptive language – food from fake farms
[8 Dec 2016] Several leading supermarkets are using fake farm names to make their food look locally produced. Faced with packaging that shows trees, farm animals and tractors – and branded with names like Nightingale Farms, Woodside Farms, and Boswell Farms – many shoppers are led to think the food has come fresh from a farm in the British countryside. In fact, it may have come from just about anywhere else, and usually has.
A Mail on Sunday investigation (10 July 2016) found that the farms don’t even exist as farms – they’re merely brand names. Tesco’s Rosedene Farms brand sells blueberries from Argentina, Chile, Poland and Spain, while the sweet potatoes under its Redmere Farms label comes from Egypt, Honduras, Senegal, Spain and the US. The true country of origin is found only in tiny print on the label.
Minette Batters, deputy president of the National Farmers Union, said: ‘These labels allow them to buy in imported stuff…and sell it as if it were British.’ A YouGov poll of 1,796 people found that 6 out of 10 believed food sold under the fake farm brands was ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ British. But Tesco claimed its labelling was ‘clear’.
Aldi also has a range of fake farms. It has promised to ensure all of them will source their produce only from the UK in 2017. But they still won’t be real farms, so they’ll still be hoodwinking customers.
There’s more on this in Pikestaff 75.