Food Marketing

A sad day for Scotch Beef and EU protected food names

19 February 2014 - 11:08am -- Gerry Danby
Scotch Beef and the EU PGI

Farmfoods frozen beef burgers carry both Quality Meat Scotland’s ‘Scotch Beef’ assurance mark and the EU protected geographical indication (PGI) logo. Packs of 16 beef burgers are advertised at 4 for £10. That makes a ‘BEST SCOTCH BEEF’ burger cost 15.6p! A deal too good to be true? The Elliott Review, which looked at integrity and assurance in the food chain in the wake of horsegate, had illustrated how to produce a ‘gourmet’ burger for less than 30p and encouraged searching questions.

Farmfoods burgers may, as things stand, be made from Scotch Beef, but is it decent, honest and truthful to describe them as made from the ‘BEST SCOTCH BEEF’?

All change for the fruit juices and nectars regulations

24 November 2013 - 12:24pm -- Gerry Danby
Apple juice

The need to implement Directive 2012/12/EU and the desire to make life simpler for fruit drink producers were the driving forces behind The Fruit Juices and Fruit Nectars (England) Regulations 2013. The 2013 Regulations give effect to the Directive and consolidate, with the removal of minor ‘gold plating’ and as a part of the Red Tape Challenge, all the earlier regulations into a single set which came into force on 20 November 2013.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) consulted on the proposed changes earlier this year and publication of the response coincided with the implementation of the 2013 Regulations. The changes were broadly welcomed by the five bodies which responded to the consultation, two trade associations and three local authority trading standards bodies, and have provoked little or no critical response.

Torfaen v Willis heard in the Supreme Court

11 July 2013 - 4:48pm -- Gerry Danby
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Torfaen County Borough Council v Douglas Willis Limited came before The Supreme Court last Tuesday, 9 July 2013, by way of an appeal from the Divisional Court. The issues for the Court to consider were the construction of regulation 44(1)(d) of The Food Labelling Regulations 1996. In particular, whether the offence of selling food with an expired ‘use by’ date requires proof that the food was at the time of the offence highly perishable and likely to constitute an immediate danger to human health; and whether a ‘use by’ date ceases to have effect once the food has been frozen.

Torfaen v Willis – leading ‘use by’ food labelling case reaches the Supreme Court

4 July 2013 - 3:06pm -- Gerry Danby
Frozen Chicken Thighs

In 2011 Torfaen County Borough Council brought a prosecution against Douglas Willis Limited for a number of offences contrary to regulation 44(1)(d) of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 which makes it an offence where any person “sells any food after the date shown in a ‘use by’ date relating to it”. Torfaen alleged that Willis had sold frozen pigs’ tongues after their ‘use by’ date. The case has become one of public importance and reaches the Supreme Court next week.

The Moo Man - the story of a farmer and his favourite cow Ida

7 June 2013 - 10:00pm -- Gerry Danby

There remain only a few short days to support the distribution of a great food documentary and be a part of movie history.

Those of you following the story of Steve Hook, the pioneering raw milk dairy farmer, here on Artisan Food Law will probably have spotted there are two parallel stories taking place. The first came to an end when the Foods Standards Agency dropped its prosecution against Steve Hook and Selfridges for selling raw milk from a vending machine located in the food hall of the prestigious Oxford Street store in London. The second was a far more interesting and glamorous affair.

Last chance to support the bid to bring back raw milk Stilton

24 May 2013 - 8:36pm -- Gerry Danby
Stichelton Cheese at Borough Market

There remain only a few days in which you can show your support for the return of traditional raw milk Stilton cheese. 'Stilton' is an EU protected food name and Defra is currently considering two applications to amend the product specification pursuant to Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

Storm in an olive oil dipping bowl

22 May 2013 - 10:29pm -- Gerry Danby
Olive oil for dipping

If the latest moves to regulate the consumption of olive oil in restaurants from the European Commission were designed as a gift for the Brexit lobby they could not have come at a better time. As Harvey Morris writing in the New York Times put it: “Even the most fervent supporters of the European Union would acknowledge that its bureaucrats occasionally display an unrivaled (sic) talent for shooting themselves in the foot.”

FAGE v Chobani – a lesson in passing-off and the history of yoghurt

3 April 2013 - 1:31pm -- Gerry Danby
Total Greek strained yoghurt

On 26 March 2013 the High Court handed down judgement in FAGE UK Limited v Chobani UK Limited which proved to be a classic passing-off case, only this time the subject was yoghurt. The question before the High Court was whether the phrase ‘Greek yoghurt’ carried sufficient reputation and goodwill as a distinctive yoghurt made in Greece to warrant protection. Whilst the production of yoghurt can be traced back some 15,000 years, FAGE was undoubtedly assisted by the fact that all yoghurt sold in the UK during the last 25 years labelled ‘Greek yoghurt’ was strained yoghurt made in Greece.


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