A London based market trader has been fined for displaying, offering for sale and selling rotten fruit and vegetables that failed to meet the minimum quality standards.
Brian Childs, a stallholder at Queens Market in Upton Park, London was fined £1,998 at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 22 August 2018, following an investigation by the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) Horticultural Marketing Inspectors (HMI).
Mr Childs, who trades under the name of Jaqueline Childs, runs one of the largest independent fruit and vegetable stalls within the purpose-built indoor complex.
An HMI inspection found the stall selling rotten lettuce, plums and papaya, while kakis and limes were being marketed with incorrect country of origin labelling.
Andy King, RPA Operations Director said:
The ultimate objective of the RPA’s Horticultural Marketing Inspectors is to work closely with the fresh produce industry at all times. They use face-to-face inspection as a means of providing advice and guidance to help support retailers such as Mr Childs understand the role that the marketing standards can play in adding real value to their business.
Unfortunately their advice is not always heeded by individuals and businesses and when all other options are exhausted, the RPA will resort to the use of criminal sanction to bring about a required change in behaviour.
On top of the fine, HMI investigation costs of £2,049 were awarded, along with victim surcharge, producing a total financial penalty of £4,138.
- Horticultural Marketing Inspectors are part of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The team 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.