Tesco (LON:TSCO) faces a legal challenge, with a charity accusing UK grocers of misleading customers with fake farm branding, and claiming that Britain’s biggest supermarket is damaging the reputation of a real farm, the Guardian has reported. Tesco launched around 80 fresh, meat and poultry products last year, to be sold under seven new ‘Farms’ brands in an effort to challenge discounters amid the ongoing supermarket price war.
Tesco’s share price has been subdued in London in today’s session, having given up 0.50 percent to 207.35p as of 09:10 GMT. The stock is marginally underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.16 percent lower at 7,484.93 points.
The Guardian reported yesterday that Tesco and peers Aldi, Asda and Lidl were being urged to stop using controversial “fake farm” branding on own-brand meat products, with the Feedback charity claiming they are misleading shoppers. The charity is backing the owner of a genuine farm called Woodside Farm – a name Tesco has also used on its value pork range since 2016 – and is threatening legal proceedings unless the retail giant drops the name Woodside Farms.
The newspaper notes that Feedback wrote to Tesco Richard Baugh of Woodside Farm in Nottinghamshire, complaining that its labelling risks confusion with his farm name and reputation, while misleading consumers about the origins of their meat.
Tesco aware of threat
Britain’s biggest supermarket told the Guardian that it was aware of the threat of legal action and declined to comment, but directed the newspaper to its interim results where it said that its “exclusive fresh food brands continue to be popular with customers – featuring in over 70 percent of baskets”.
Last year, the National Farmers Union also complained over the use of fictional farm branding by supermarkets.