Local produce or a marketing con?

British food? Read the small print...

British food? Read the small print…

My eye was caught recently by an article in an English newspaper on a loophole in the law. Marketing johnnies have been quick to exploit it.

Like many nations, the Brits are keen on home-grown foods (and although others mock us, there are actually some superb dishes in British cuisine).

One such product is the Cumberland sausage. Of course to a Brit this conjures up images of the scenic landscapes of the green and fertile county of Cumberland. But according to the label, it’s made from “EU pork”. Hmm. The EU now includes Bulgaria and Latvia – that doesn’t sound like Cumberland! Tesco is keen to defend itself in the article, saying this “is in no way an attempt to market the product as British”.

Ok, Camembert is now made in other countries. So how about this one from Bird’s Eye (comparable to Iglo in Germany) – the “Great British Menu Roast Beef”. Well, apparently it’s “Made in Britain from imported beef.”

Then there is the Sainsbury’s chicken dish which is “produced in the UK for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets” although apparently it could be “produced from Brazilian or British chicken”. Huh? So on which days can I expect my chicken to start clucking in Portuguese?

Would I be right in thinking these producers are not willing to tell us WHERE these foods actually come from? Or is the law too lax?

Next thing you know their packaging will read something like “Made in England – from a type of vegetable from a country somewhere in the northern hemisphere”.

Alex Woodruff

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