A Burnley shopkeeper and company have been fined for selling rotten fruit and vegetables following an investigation by the Rural Payments Agency’s Horticultural Marketing inspectors.
Mohammad Zakur and his company All Fresh Fruit & Veg Ltd was fined £2,440 at Burnley Magistrates Court on 4 December 2015. An HMI investigation in April 2015 found 11 regulated displays breaking the EU marketing rules for fresh produce quality and labelling, including pears and lemons which failed to meet the lowest marketable standards permitted.
Mr Zakur entered guilty pleas on both his and the company’s behalf to all 11 charges. He was fined £700 for the offences, £500 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. The company was fined £700 for the offences, £500 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Rural Payments Agency Operations Director Paul Caldwell said:
This is another example of the work we carry out to protect consumers. They should be able to buy good quality fresh produce which is labelled correctly.
We see prosecution as a last resort and always try to gain compliance with quality and labelling regulations through advice guidance and instruction.
In this case, a series of risk-based inspection visits were made to the store where we offered advice and guidance on how the marketing standards can add real value to a business. Mr Zakur failed to ensure the quality and labelling of the fresh produce he was offering on sale to consumers met the required minimum standards.
All Fresh Fruit & Veg Ltd is located at 194-198 Colne Road, Burnley, BB10 1DY.
The Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate is part of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The Inspectorate is responsible for the enforcement of the EU marketing standards for fresh fruit, vegetables, salad crops, nuts and cultivated mushroom, throughout England and Wales, wherever fresh produce is grown, imported, exported, bought or sold.