A father and son trading duo from Nottinghamshire who falsely marketed bacon products they had purchased in the EU as British and free-range have been sentenced for fraud.
William Smith, 41 of Park Farm Cottage in Kneesall, pleaded guilty to five fraud offences dating from April 2012 to February 2015.
He received a 19-month sentence, suspended for two years, 180 hours unpaid work and £15,000 costs.
His father Andrew Smith, 65, of Old Hall Farm, Newark, pleaded guilty to one fraud offence dating to June 1, 2013.
He was given a two-year sentence suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work and costs of £5,000.
The pair run Barn Bacon Ltd and falsely claimed their bacon products were British and free range, often claiming these products came from animals reared on their farm in Kneesall.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team were first made aware of the company’s false claims in 2014 and found that one of their main suppliers since 2011 sourced their bacon from the EU – namely Germany, Poland and Denmark.
The supplier was completely unaware its products were being repackaged and falsely labelled as British produce, a court heard.
The misleading claims allowed them to reap in higher earnings for produce and trade at fairs marketed at traders selling high-quality home produced and free range products.
Claudine White, Trading Standards Manager at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This company’s blatant false claims have allowed it to sell their bacon products at a higher price than would be expected for standard products and gave it access to pitches at festivals to the detriment of legitimate traders.
“The judge said the pair behaved in a thoroughly dishonest manner and their deceit was persistent and sophisticated.
“This prosecution sends a strong warning out to traders carrying out misleading practices that they will be brought before the courts.”