The fake farm row has been thrown back into the spotlight as Asda relaunched its value food range under the name Farm Stores.
Asda has reintroduced its “heritage” Farm Stores brand after a 2001 rebrand to Smart Price in order to expand its product range to more items.
The change back to Farm Stores has sparked widespread controversy among UK farming organisations.
“Although such rebrands can drive an uplift in sales, in our view it is important that product names and descriptions are clear, accurate and do not mislead consumers,” National Farmers’ Union advisor Ruth Mason told The Guardian.
“With Asda now using the term ‘farm‘ within its branding, it is imperative that the origin of these products is clear to customers.”
Last year Tesco came under fire for introducing seven brands based on fictitious names of British farms, including Woodside Farms and Boswell Farms. Many of the items were imported from overseas.
Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett called these false brandings “misleading for consumers and insulting to farmers”.
“Many hard-pressed customers, trying to do their shopping in a hurry, are likely to be misled into thinking they‘re buying a product from a specific British farm when they are not,” he added.
A spokesperson for Asda said: “We know how important quality produce at a great price is to our customers.
“We‘re reconnecting with our heritage by bringing back the Farm Stores brand to Asda – a name that our customers remember and trust for great value quality produce.”