Aldi is to relabel its Murrays cooked meat range after admitting the use of Scottish branding on meat sourced from the EU and South America could suggest Scottish meat was used inside.
The discounter is selling a range of cooked meat products under the Murrays brand which have the name ‘Murrays’ accompanied by a thistle and the descriptions ‘Produced in Scotland’ and ‘Made in the Borders of Scotland’ on the front of packs. Murray is a surname of Scottish origin.
However, the back of the Murrays sliced silverside of beef states: ‘Specially produced in Scotland from South American and EU beef’ and the cooked turkey states ‘Specially produced in Scotland from Brazilian turkey’.
“Although no labelling laws have been infringed, we do accept the labelling goes against the ‘spirit’ of sourcing in the current climate”
NFU Scotland said the use of the wording and Scottish emblems could cause confusion amongst shoppers. “Consumers are likely to recognise and support the saltire flag and the thistle emblem without actually taking the time to read in the small print the country of origin,” said Wendy Fleming, food chain relationships manager.
Aldi said it never intended to mislead shoppers and had used the references to Scotland only to highlight local manufacturing of the meat. “Although no labelling laws have been infringed, we do accept the labelling goes against the ‘spirit’ of sourcing in the current climate,” said a spokeswoman.
Aldi had already “undertaken” to re-label the range in the wake of the “recent heightened focus on the sourcing of meat” and would complete the changes as soon as possible, she added.
A Shop Waves poll by The Grocer/Him! in March suggested only 17% of shoppers trusted Aldi to be accurate in its country-of-origin labelling.
It scored highest among the discounters but scores for the mults were much higher, ranging from 24% to 45%.