Tesco threatened with legal action over fake farms

A food charity is threatening to take Tesco to court over its controversial use of ‘fake farm’ branding on its fresh produce.

Feedback is supporting the owner of a real farm called Woodside Farm - a name shared with Tesco’s value pork range since 2016 - to threaten legal proceedings if the supermarket doesn’t stop using the name Woodside Farms to sell its products.

Woodside Farm owner Richard Baugh said he had faced confusion from customers demanding if he supplied Tesco. He currently uses his farm name to sell pork products from his free-range pigs through his own farm shop and website.

Baugh said that he didn’t feel it was fair that Tesco should profit from the associations that come with his farm name.

Feedback has written to Tesco on behalf of Baugh, highlighting that the retailer’s labelling risks both profiting from its use of his Woodside Farm name and reputation, and misleading consumers about the origins of Tesco’s meat.

Tesco, in response, said the seven-strong farm brands range had proven extremely popular with customers, regularly appearing in 70% of baskets.

“To say these labels are popular is no defence of what Tesco and other supermarkets are doing – they’re popular because people understandably like the image of small-scale, local animal husbandry that farms like the real Woodside farm represent,” said Feedback campaign director, Jessica Sinclair Taylor.

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