Tesco Under Fire for Misleading Cheese

Country of origin labels confuse consumers
Wikimedia/J.P.Lon

Country of origin labels are not very useful to consumers when producers can get around them by saying, "Well, the label was produced here, so it's not really lying." The Tesco supermarket chain is just the latest place to come under fire for misleading origin labels, in this case regarding "U.K." cheese.

The Telegraph reports that Tesco's "Everyday Value" branded Cheddar is labeled as "British," but is really produced in Ireland. It's packaged in Great Britain, though, so the label is technically OK.
“It is misleading from the point of view that the only label says U.K., so people passionate about buying from our farmers might pick it up thinking it is British but its not,” said Nick Everington of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.

British cheese is going through a nationalist moment as people become more concerned with the dwindling number of British dairy farmers. Earlier this month the British Cheese Board set out to find a new anthem for Cheddar cheese.

Previously, pork went through the same supermarket drama when it came out that pork products packaged in the U.K. were being labeled as "made in Britain" even though the pigs never saw that country in their lifetimes. During that kerfuffle, Tesco volunteered to provide information on where the pork was from originally.

Tesco argues that most of its "made in Britain" cheese really is.

"While the majority of our Everyday Value cheese is made using Irish milk, all of our Tesco own brand cheese is produced using 100 percent British milk," a spokesperson said.