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Farm shop owner pays the price for ‘misleading’ labelling

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The owner of a Somerset Farm Shop has agreed to change misleading labelling on his products and pay £5,000 in costs following a trading standards investigation.

Following court appearances at Weston Super Mare Magistrates and Bristol Crown Court, Alan Hector, owner of Hector’s Farmshop, in Wedmore, accepted Simple Cautions for five offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 relating to meats and pies on sale at his shop.

The court case was stopped and Mr Hector agreed to pay the Trading Standards costs to date.

The claims related to the phrases “For that Somerset Taste” and “Free Range” when some items were not from local sources and not certified Free Range.

In a joint statement Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service and Mr Hector said:
“Hector’s Farm Shop has agreed to a caution for offences of misrepresenting the origin of food products and their method of production, and has now undertaken to work with Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards to ensure future labelling and origin claims are accurate. Trading Standards considers this to be a good outcome, reflecting the authorities work helping local businesses to comply with the law and protect the integrity of the food chain, ensuring that consumers can trust the food they eat and that it is safe.“

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Legal Process Manager Stephen Gardiner said:  “Statements about the origin of food should not be opaque or misleading, and official checks should confirm it. We’ll take proportionate action when needed. Our officers conduct sampling and inspections as well as responding to complaints.”

Further information for butchers on the rules around labelling of meat can be found on the Trading Standards Connect website by clicking here.