Farmers have called out Tesco over their predilection for inventing ‘fake farm’ brands which they then pass off to consumers as ‘exclusives’ as part of an underhand tactic to drive sales.
According to Farming UK the industry is ‘up in arms’ over the use of fabricated brands such as ‘Boswell Farms’ and ‘Woodside Farm’ – both of which only exist as a vehicle to imply produce has been sourced locally.
Farmers believe that Tesco is unfairly profiting from the trust they have built up with consumers not to mention misleading for those unaware of the sleight of hand.
Speaking to Farming UK National Pig Association chairman Richard Longthorp said: “I thought my memory was bad but clearly the memory of the people at Tesco must be somewhat worse – or they were being somewhat disingenuous back in 2013. Remember Horsegate"?
The horse meat scandal caused Tesco's sales to drop by 1 per cent in 2013.
Longthought continued by saying “It wasn’t really about horsemeat, it was about trust.
“I seem to recall Tesco and other retailers being aghast at what had happened and how trust had been breached and must never be allowed to happen again.
“So what are they doing now? They are using tertiary brands (aka flags of convenience) such as ‘Woodside Farms’, to trick their customers into thinking that the meat they are buying is British. Well there can’t be that many pig farms in Denmark or Holland called “Woodside” can there?”
The tactic has paid off handsomely for the retailer which has seen sales bounce by 1.3% in the 12 weeks ending 9 October, its first move into positive territory since March 2015.