New stickers will be added to selected food products in supermarkets, it has been announced. The new move will see a stamp of quality on British foods to confirm that they are up to standard, giving customers more trust in what they are buying. The approved foods will feature a special kitemark that is easily recognisable so customers can see it as they shop.
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The new Kitemark for Food Assurance has been launched by the British Standards Institution (BSI) in a bid to tackle food fraud.
The special mark will mean that shoppers can be assured that the food they are buying is safe, sustainable and authentic.
The Kitemark scheme will mean that the company has verified details that are claimed on food packaging labels, such as where it was from and how it had been produced.
The BSI has said that its stamp is widely recognised by the public, with 80 percent knowing the symbol for the Kitemark, which is often used on homeware products.
However, it’s now being rolled out into the food industry to help build customer confidence in what they are buying when stocking up on groceries.
The products will carry a readable QR code or number on their label so that shoppers can quickly see the verified details by the BSI, if they really want to be sure that it has the seal of approval.
Howard Kerr, BSI chief executive said: “Today, people want to understand the important details about the food they eat.
“By extending the power of the Kitemark into areas like food authenticity and provenance, BSI can serve that need. After all, customers deserve food that’s safe, sustainable and socially responsible.”
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The new registered trademark will give shoppers peace of mind that they are buying a good quality product.
Authenticity, purity, provenance, welfare and environmental commitments are some of the factors that will be assessed by the BSI before awarding the Kitemark.
Food fraud costs the industry up to £12 billion every year according to The Telegraph – and honey is said to be one of the most fraudulent food products.
Manuka honey is often a target for fraudsters thanks to its rumoured health benefits and distinctive taste.
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However, a genuine honey product will be the first to be certified with the new BSI kitemark, so that shoppers can know they have bought the real deal.
The Scottish Bee Company’s heather honey has the honour of being the first product to sport the new Kitemark.
Writing on its website, the company said: “We are unbelievably excited to announce that our Scottish heather honey has become the first ever food product in the UK to be awarded the new British Standards Institution (BSI) Kitemark™ for Food Assurance.
“Provenance, purity, social responsibility and environmental sustainability is so important to us and we wanted to assure our customers around the world that when you buy a jar of our ‘Scottish heather honey’, that’s exactly what you’re getting.”
The new stickers feature the BSI logo together with the label “Food Assurance Kitemark” and the name of the company behind the product.
The scheme should make it easier for customers to find products that they can trust as they stock up on British foods in the supermarket.
Companies have to go through rigorous tests to be awarded the stamp of approval.
The Scottish Bee Company explained: “To achieve its BSI Kitemark for Food Assurance, we had to have each step of our supply chain audited and our honey samples tested for pesticides and genetically modified organisms in an independent laboratory environment.
“This is where we found, by change, that our honey contains 10 x more Manganese than any honey in the world.
“We also had to send BSI information about where our hives are located and are open to being audited at any time to ensure they are in Scotland. They will continue to use regular photo verification with location services on throughout the year.”
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