fruit supermarket trolley

Which? has questioned the pricing of fresh produce

Representatives from the UK's top 10 supermarkets were summoned to a meeting at the Department of Business this week to justify food and drink pricing policies.

Consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson reportedly sees the meeting as the 'first step' of a new government drive in enforcing fairer pricing rules at UK supermarkets and in helping consumers understand how to shop as cheaply as possible.

The Price It Right campaign by consumer group Which? has received substantial media attention, with the group callling for clearer pricing.

Which? says it has found several examples of unfair fresh produce 'deals' in UK supermarkets in recent months, butpraised new labels at Sainsbury's which it says give customers 'clearer' price comparison information on fruit and vegetables products.

A spokesperson said: 'We have seen pre-packed red onions priced at £1.35 for three, or 45p an item next to loose onions priced at 95p a kilogramme, and a seven-pack of mini bananas with a selling price of 99p and a unit price of 14.1p each next to loose bananas priced at 68p a kilogramme.'

UK retailers are required by law to display both a selling price and a unit price on the shelf labels of products; there are currently no rules relating to how special offers and discounts are calculated.

'We have begun to make changes already and so welcome the move by the government to highlight good practise and to come up with a fairer, more transparent system,' pledged Guy Mason, head of government affairs at supermarket Morrisons, who is believed to have attended this week's government meeting.

You can read FPJ's recent news analysis report analysing the impact of fresh produce promotions here.