Local food claims questioned

Approximately a fifth of foods labelled as “local” in England and Wales are “undoubtedly false”, according to new research.

An inspection of 558 items in 300 shops, restaurants, markets and factories by Local Government Regulation officials revealed 18% of false local claims and a further 14% which were unverifiable.

Misleading labels included “Welsh Lamb” – which was from New Zealand, “Somerset butter” from Scotland and “Devon ham” originating from Denmark.

Paul Bettison, LGR chairman, said: “Many people want to support local businesses or choose food that has not travelled from the other side of the world, so it is vital that they have accurate information to help them make their choices.

“To have around a third of all items investigated turn out to be false or potentially false is extremely worrying.

“Councils are working with businesses to make sure consumers have the information they need and that they are not being ripped off.”

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