A Nottingham based shopkeeper has been fined over £3,000 for selling rotten nectarines and plums that failed to meet the minimum quality standards.
Michael Coupland, owner of Oakdale Stores, Nottingham, was fined a total of £3,520 at Nottingham Magistrates Court on 28 January, following an eight-month investigation by the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) Horticultural Marketing Inspectors (HMI).
He pleaded guilty to five separate quality and labelling offences, and fined a total of £1,000 with a further £2,500 prosecution and investigation costs and a £20 victim surcharge. The total fine was £3,520.
An inspection that took place on 16 June last year found 10 displays that breached EU marketing rules, including a display of loose mangoes and pre-packed nectarines.
Paul Caldwell, RPA operations director, said: “The prosecution followed a series of risk-based enforcement visits and inspections, carried out by the HMI between October 2014 and June 2015.
“Concerted efforts were made by the HMI to work closely with Mr Coupland and his staff with face-to-face meetings, verbal warnings and formal written notices, all aimed at achieving improved compliance from the business.
"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."