Morrisons pledges to drop fake farm brands

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Fake farm

Morrisons has vowed not to adopt brands which use the names of fake farms to sell goods to shoppers, in a move to support real farmers across the UK.

Following a survey carried out by the retailer which revealed 70 per cent of people objected to the use of fake farm brands, Morrisons pledged to drop any products which use fictitious farms or place names on any branding or packaging.

The row was reignited in April after rival grocer Asda rebranded its Smart Price food range as Farm Stores.

The matter was first brought to the spotlight in 2016 when Tesco launched seven brands with British sounding but fake names, including Woodside Farms and Boswell Farms, despite importing a portion of the goods from overseas.

The National Farmers Union and the Soil Association subsequently condemned the use of fake farm brands as both misleading to consumers and insulting to British farmers.

READ MORE: Asda reignites “fake farm” row with Farm Stores re-brand

“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,” Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett said.

Morrisons already dropped a brand called Hemsley’s over a year ago, which ripped off the name of a real town in North Yorkshire called Helmsley.

The retailer’s survey also found that 46 per cent of respondents had never met a farmer, and a further 52 per cent didn’t know how their food was grown.

In light of this, Morrisons is encouraging shoppers to visit stores to meet real farmers who will explain the benefits of UK grown food.

“Supermarket customers are sometimes presented with misleading images of farmers on their food,” Morrisons head of British livestock Joe Mannion said.

“We believe that by meeting our real farmers, customers will see and value that we know where our food comes from.”

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