> Waitrose Face Backlash over New Zealand Lamb Labelled as ‘British’ - The Food Safety Company Waitrose Face Backlash over New Zealand Lamb Labelled as ‘British’ - The Food Safety Company
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    Tuesday, 14 February 2017

    Waitrose Face Backlash over New Zealand Lamb Labelled as ‘British’

    Img source: FG Insight 
    For many shoppers, knowing exactly where the food they are about to consume came from is of the utmost importance. At the very least, you would expect that any food product packaged in a box with ‘British’ written across the top in large font would be just that – British. Well, not according to Waitrose.

    The supermarket chain is currently facing the ire of customers following the discovery that their range of ‘British’ ready meals are made using lamb sourced from New Zealand, not Britain as the packaging suggests. Four items in the range - specifically Waitrose British lamb with mint and redcurrant, Waitrose British lamb hotpot, Waitrose British liver and bacon, and Waitrose British shepherd's pie – are known to contain the misleading ingredient.

    Complaints regarding the products actually started to file in last year, to which the supermarket chain responded by slapping a sticker on the products stating that they were 'made with New Zealand lamb'. However, many still see this as a far-from-acceptable solution.

    One such disgruntled customer was Lake District shepherd and author James Rebanks, who decided to poll his Twitter followers on the subject and found that only 3% believed the labelling was acceptable. He further stated that, “To anyone reasonable this is basically dishonest and misleading.”

    In an effort the defend themselves, Waitrose representatives have spoken of their plans to rebrand the ‘British’ range as ‘Classic’, while insisting that the current branding refers to the origin of the recipe, rather than the source of its ingredients. They state that, “Our policy is to sell the best available lamb in season, and we choose New Zealand lamb purely because of its quality,

    “This means in the winter months, outside of the UK lamb season, we source from selected farmers in New Zealand. These farmers meet the same exacting standards as our dedicated group of British farmers.”

    This has led many to assert that, rather than rebranding the range, they should simply opt to use British meat instead. Championing this approach, President of the National Farmers’ Union Meurig Raymond has released his own statement regarding the controversy:

    “The inclusion of the word ‘British’ in the brand name despite the meat being sourced from New Zealand is misleading for shoppers - and it's frustrating for British farmers, especially those who produce lamb Waitrose could have sourced,

    “We'll continue to push this message with Waitrose, and others in the supply chain.”

    Sam Bonson

    Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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