Shopkeeper fined due to rotten fruit display

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: RPA's HMI
Picture: RPA's HMI

Related tags: Business

A shopkeeper in Nottingham, UK, has been fined for displaying and selling rotten fruit and vegetables, after an investigation by the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) Horticultural Marketing Inspectors (HMI).

An HMI inspection found 10 regulated displays in breach of the EU marketing rules for fresh produce quality and labelling which included a display of loose mangoes and pre-packed nectarines in a rotten condition.

Michael Coupland, owner of the retail business trading as Oakdale Stores, Nottingham was fined £3,520 at Nottingham Magistrates Court.

Coupland pleaded guilty to five separate quality and labelling offences, although other additional offences on the day were taken into account by the court.

He was fined a total of £1,000 with a further £2,500 prosecution and investigation costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

HMI said efforts were made to work with Coupland and his staff with face-to-face meetings, verbal warnings and formal written notices.

Paul Caldwell, RPA operations director, said the ultimate objective is to work with the fresh produce industry.

“They use face-to-face inspection as a means of providing advice and guidance to help support retailers…understand the role that the marketing standards can play in adding real value to their business," ​he said.

“Unfortunately their advice is not always heeded by individuals and businesses and when all other options are exhausted, the RPA will resort to the use of criminal sanction to bring about a required change in behaviour.”​ 

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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