British.. grown abroad
cent of shoppers would always buy British-made food – and supermarkets are keen to cash in.
Tesco and Asda branches cited specific British farmers in banners sitting over produce grown abroad.
An Asda in Altrincham, Gtr Manchester, detailed a strawberry farm in Staffordshire – above fruit from Egypt and Morocco.
At a Tesco Metro in Canary Wharf, a huge sign plugged a farm that has grown fruit for the chain for 20 years.
It urged shoppers to “Enjoy the taste of Hampshire”. The apples directly below were from France. Beneath another banner boasting of “working with more British farmers” was UK lettuce – along with more of the crop from Spain and Portugal.
And customers at a London Lidl were promised “Red Tractor assured produce (100% British, of course)” – yet among imported goods alongside that from the UK were Colombian bananas and Costa Rican pineapples.
Lidl assured us the signs were used “to inform customers where Red Tractor Assured items feature within a range of products” – and that individual items were labelled on the pack.
Meanwhile, Tesco insisted it offered “a wide selection of top quality British fruit and veg all year round”, but explained: “To make sure we offer full choice throughout the seasons, we also source from abroad.”
Our team also found a sign at Waitrose in Worcester showing the chain’s Hampshire farm – while the selection of apples below included Italian fruit.
Waitrose told us: “We’d never mislead customers. We have a marketleading British range and always clearly show where produce is from.”
Banners at Morrisons in Bromsgrove, Worcs, promise they work “directly with trusted British growers”, while a London Aldi boasts of “championing Great British quality”. In both cases, there was overseas fruit and veg.
Morrisons said: “This sign is central in our fruit and veg aisle. We’re British farming’s biggest supermarket customer and when in season we always source British first.”
And Aldi told us it sources “British produce wherever possible, which is reflected in our in-store signage”.
Asda added: “We have a great relationship with British farmers and are proud to stock their fruit and veg.”
Only Sainsbury’s did not appear to use the “buy British” branding.
M&S said its display was out of date and should have been removed. They added: “We always source from British farmers in season.”
Trading Standards told us a judge could only rule case-by-case – as signs do not claim all produce is British, and individual items are correctly labelled.
RASPBERRIES From Portugal STRAWBERRIES From Egypt None of the berries here are British, despite Union Jack GRAPES From South Africa and Peru BLUEBERRIES From South Africa BLACKBERRIES From Mexico
EYES PEELED Tesco sign says Hampshire, but apples are French