News story

Yorkshire fresh produce retailer fined after failing to meet marketing standards

Fresh produce retailer fined following HMI investigation

Unlabelled loquats on display for sale with 40% bruising
Unlabelled loquats on display for sale with 40% bruising

A Leeds based retailer has been ordered to pay almost £3,400 for displaying, offering for sale and selling rotten fruit and vegetables that failed to meet minimum quality standards.

Mohammad Ozair Siddique, Director of Leeds City Stores Ltd. appeared at Leeds Magistrates Court on 28 October 2016, following a seven month long investigation by the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) Horticultural Marketing Inspectors (HMI).

A final HMI inspection conducted on 12 May 2016, found displays in breach of the EU marketing rules for fresh produce quality and labelling, including rotten loquats and peaches.

Unlabelled peaches on display for sale with 43% rotting
Unlabelled peaches on display for sale with 43% rotting

In court Mr Siddique pleaded guilty to the charges on behalf of the company and was fined £1,000, £2,293 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

Paul Caldwell, RPA Operations Director said:

Concerted efforts were made by HMI to work closely with the business through face-to-face meetings, verbal warnings and formal written notices, all aimed at achieving improved compliance from the business.

Unfortunately such advice is not always heeded and when all other options have been exhausted we will resort to the use of criminal sanction to bring about a required change in behaviour.

Background

  • Leeds City Stores Ltd. is based at 63 Shepherds Lane, Leeds, LS8 5AT.

  • Horticultural Marketing Inspectors are part of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The inspectors are 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.

Published 1 November 2016