A Bristol fresh produce retailer has been fined over £14,500 for displaying and selling rotten grapes and aubergines.
Produce at Fruit & Veg Planet (SW), in Easton, Bristol, failed to meet minimum quality standards, according to the Rural Payments Agency’s Horticultural Marketing Inspectors (HMI).
Director Hazrat Mohammad Ahmadzai and store manager Janatgul Easakhil were charged by Bristol Magistrates Court on 8 December 2016, following a two-year investigation.
A final HMI inspection conducted on 3 March 2016 found 12 displays in breach of the EU marketing rules for fresh produce quality and labeling.
Both Ahmadzai and Easakhil were fined £2,500, £1,342 costs and a £170 victim surcharge. The company was fined £5,000, £1,343 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
RPA operations director Alison Johnson said “concerted efforts” were made by HMI to work closely with the business through face-to-face meetings, verbal warnings and formal written notices, aimed at achieving improved compliance from the business.
“Unfortunately such advice is not always heeded and when all other options have been exhausted we will resort to the use of criminal sanction to bring about a required change in behaviour,” she added.