Gordon Ramsay's call for restaurants to be fined for using out-of-season fruit and vegetables has been derided by representatives of the fresh produce industry.

Ramsay stirred up a storm of publicity this week when he said that restaurants should only stock in-season UK-grown produce .

The Fresh Produce Consortium slammed the celebrity chef's comments as "preposterous", adding that such a move would severely restrict the range of fruit and veg on offer.

"The knock-on effect of this ill-thought-out proposal would be catastrophic to the global fresh produce industry and consumers alike. It is simply wrong to believe that the public would accept such a significant restriction to their freedom of choice," a spokesman said.

Supporting UK produce was laudable, said NFU chief horticultural adviser Philip Hudson, as British growers had invested time and money in extending the season. "But fining restaurants is not the right way to go about it," he added.