Food manufacturers who use misleading words or imagery on their packaging are being named and shamed as part of a campaign for honest labelling.
Rob Ward, a local food champion, has launched an honest labelling campaign – www.honestlabelling.com – and is urging the British public to name and shame the worst offenders and praise those producers who get it right.
Mr Ward was featured in a short segment about confusing food labelling which was screened during an episode of Rip-off Britain on BBC1 on Wednesday (2 December).
Examples highlighted on the website so far include the use of St George’s flags to convey Englishness even though the major ingredient is not home-reared.
In another example, one of Britain’s biggest frozen food companies has its ready-meal labelled as “Great British Menu” but the meat is not from Britain and the meal is not even made in the UK.
Mr Ward said with consumers spending just five seconds reading each label in the supermarket, it was time to act.
“My investigation has revealed a catalogue of abuses across the board. Often it is only when you look at the small print, or ring the company itself, that you realise the ingredients don’t fit the image.
“If shoppers can’t identify the true origin of the main ingredients in a pack in less than five seconds then the pack needs to be redesigned.”
The honest labelling website has a special section where the good examples of food packaging (the Angels) can be compared to the bad examples (the Sinners).