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Would you buy food from a fake farm?

Tractor ploughing a field

The National Farmers Union wants to see an end to the ‘fake farm’ phenomenon, as idyllic food labelling might paint a misleading picture. Are you fed up with fake farms on your food?

Fruit from Rosedene Farms and Suntrail Farms might conjure up images of an idyllic corner of Kent, manned by ruddy-faced British farmers and hay-stuffed scarecrows.

In reality, these farms don’t exist. In fact, you might be getting Rosedene Farms strawberries that are from Morocco, or Suntrail Farms cherries that were grown in Spain. But is it a problem that these farm brands are completely fictional? Surely a Rosedene by any other name would taste as sweet?

Misleading brands

Apparently not, at least in the eyes of the National Farmers Union (NFU), which last week complained to Trading Standards about Tesco’s use of fake farm brands.

The NFU said the brands were misleading, as shoppers believe they’re buying British produce when that’s often not the case.

Tesco has been accused of rebranding its Everyday Value line as several different farm ranges as a way to appeal to those who want to support local farmers.

Country of origin

The NFU has also called for better guidance on country of origin labelling on food.

While some of Tesco’s fruit and veg contains a country of origin that you can easily check when you inspect the pack, some shoppers might already have been swayed by the quintessentially British names plastered on the packaging.

Government guidelines on food labelling state that the country of origin must be shown if the food packaging is unclear, for example if the label for a pizza shows the leaning tower of Pisa, but the pizza is made in the UK.

Supermarket chain Aldi, which also came under fire for using fictional farms in its marketing, has promised to only use British produce in its farm brands by 2017.

Is it important for you to know which country your food has come from? And should Tesco follow in Aldi’s footsteps? Do you think Tesco is trying to boost its sales by tapping into the trend of locally-sourced food? Or do you think that the name on the front of the packaging doesn’t matter, as long as the food is of good quality?

Do fake farm brands bother you?

Yes (61%, 1,498 Votes)

I haven’t heard of fake farm brands before (32%, 785 Votes)

No (6%, 157 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,440

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Comments
Guest
Terry McArdle says:
30 July 2016

Why Tesco, many other company’s use the same ploy.
The MOST ANNOYING thing I find is “Especially packed/produced for Aldi. Lidl, Asda, M & S, Morrison’s, Sainsbury, Whiterose, Co-op, and any other company you care to mention.
This usually means you will NOT know where the product come from, also a lot of stuff comes in from abroad and is repackaged here in the UK, thus it is now produced or made in the UK.

Guest

I have been wondering whether this topic would come up since I have noticed a proliferation of these fake brandings in Tesco. I have to say they’re not very convincing as they are far too corporate and consistent in appearance and the made-up names are straight out of The Archers [strange that Tesco didn’t actually use the name “Brookfield Farm” where it has a large store not far from its former HQ in Cheshunt]. Tesco are floundering at the moment and don’t know what to do for the best. Pathetic marketing might be a useful recovery plan. So far as I have noticed the country of origin of the produce is clearly shown on the packaging as well as on the shelf-label. Methinks the NFU doth protest too much. Would it help if the Rosedene Strawberries had the name prominently shown in Arabic script as well?

I don’t have any objection to “specially packed for . . . ” so long as the country of origin is shown as required by government guidelines [as stated in the Intro].

Guest

I am not sure how to participate in the Poll [Do fake farm brands bother you?] which is already showing the results for 185 voters and yet isn’t open for voting! Not a fake poll, surely?

Guest

Quite right, John. This topic only arrived today, only 2 commenters spoke before your query, no obvious poll buttons, and yet (still) 185 people have cast their “vote”.

Perhaps the NFU had a preview, or the Which? office. I’m sure there is a simple explanation though.

The main thrust of the NFU’s argument seems to be that UK-sounding names – Boswell Farm for example – might be used on a foreign-sourced product. I would certainly agree that this is misleading if the country of origin is not very prominently shown.

Guest

Not very good at polling in this country are we?!!

Guest

Hello John, apologies for this poll being temporarily closed, I reopened the poll but didn’t spot your comment to say so.

Guest

Hi Malcolm, the poll was temporarily open for a short period last Thursday and collected 185 votes in that period. It was my oversight for not re-opening the poll for Saturday’s publishing date. The poll is open now.

Guest

@ldeitz, thanks Lauren. As the Convo didn’t start until 30th, where was the poll taken?

Guest

Hi Malcolm, the poll was live on Convo – you’ll see the polls rotate on the homepage or to the side of every convo , the votes are only from people visiting Convo and the p