Firm fined after misleading labelling

30th August 2012 - Fine Cut

The importance of truthful custom labels on packaging has been highlighted after a substantial fine was handed to a firm who misled consumers on their packaging. reports that Stonham Hedrow, which produced produced premium brand jams in Suffolk, was charged after it was found that the firm was unable to confirm its claims about the origins of its fruits during an inspection.

The firm, which prided itself on containing strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and rhubarb from Yorkshire suppliers, was actually found to have used fruits from Poland, China and Yorkshire in an attempt to make profit.

The court heard the firm was under financial pressure so it looked to buy cheaper ingredients but neglected to change the labelling. This mistake, however, cost both the business and director Katherine Neuteboom £4,250 each and £6,500 in court costs.

Clare Davis, senior trading standard officer and lead food officer for Suffolk County Council, commented on the fine to "This is an example of a company misleading the public in a misguided attempt to save money and cut corners to produce a cheaper product. This has cost them a great deal of money as the court placed a hefty fine on the business for the seriousness of the offence.

"Our officers regularly check claims on food because it is imperative that consumers have complete confidence that claims are honest and truthful," she added.

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