A Borough Market trader has been ordered to pay almost £4,000 after breaking European Union rules on labelling fresh food.
Paul Wheeler, director of Paul Wheeler (Fresh Supplies) Ltd, pleaded guilty to eighteen separate labelling offences when he appeared at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court on February 17.
Following a fifteen-month investigation, it was found that eighteen fresh food products were being offered to customers without labels detailing the country of origin and, where required, the variety and quality class.
Wheeler was fined £2,100 and also made to pay a further £1,770 in prosecution and investigation costs and a £40 victim surcharge.
Paul Caldwell, RPA Operations Director said: “Concerted efforts were made by the HMI to work closely with Mr Wheeler and his staff with face-to-face meetings, verbal warnings and formal written notices, all aimed at achieving improved compliance from the business.
“HMI relies on face-to-face inspections to provide advice and guidance to retailers such as Mr Wheeler, to help them fully appreciate the value of adopting clear and transparent labelling, to help reassure customers of the quality and origin of the fresh produce they are buying.
“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.”
Keith Davis, Managing Director of Borough Market said: “All Borough Market traders are obliged to adhere to statutory guidelines, legislation and EU directives as outlined in our Trader Regulations and all lease agreements. Whilst we make every effort to support traders with the understanding of these rules and issue regular reminders of their obligations, as independent businesses they are responsible for ensuring their own compliance. We take any breach very seriously and are working with the trader in question to ensure it does not happen again.”