Home » News

Company director was sentenced to imprisonment for making and selling fake organic food

23 September 2009 44,353 views No Comment

A man was jailed for over two years today for selling “organic” products that turned out to be nothing of the sort.

Neil Stansfield, the 41-year-old director of One Food Limited, also received a six-year directorship ban for the fraud.

An investigation by Trading Standards officers revealed that Stansfield, along with his wife and the firm’s operations manager, bought non-organic ingredients from supermarkets, and had employees repackage them before they were sold to consumers across the UK. The five-year scam netted the trio £500,000.

At Northamptonshire crown court, Stansfield, from Newnham, near Daventry, received a 27-month prison sentence and was banned from being a company director for six years.

His wife Katie Stansfield, 44, who was company secretary from June 2004, was given a 50-week sentence suspended for two years, 150 hours of community work, and a three-year directorship ban.

Operations manager Russell Hudson, 40, received a 40-week sentence suspended for two years and 150 hours of community work.

The scam first came to light in autumn 2007, when Trading Standards officers received information that the company, based in Daventry, was receiving regular deliveries of what were suspected to be non-organic ingredients.

Trading Standards bought items online from the firm through its “Swaddles Organic” website, which claimed to provide “organic, natural and ethical meat, produce and grocery items”.

“Organic salmon” bought from the site was later found to contain a synthetic additive used in feed for farmed salmon and when officers raided the premises in December 2007 they found paperwork showing non-organic ingredients had been bought.

Former employees also told investigators the company directors were making regular purchases of non-organic ingredients from Tesco and Waitrose stores in Daventry. They also said they were asked to remove non-organic ingredients, including Atora suet, from their original packaging and re-bag them in clear bags for use in products being made by OFL.

In the firm’s final year of trading, at least 41% of the ingredients bought to manufacture its “organic” products were non-organic, financial records showed. The “organic” products could then be sold on at a premium.

At a conference yesterday, the Organic Trade Board warned that organic food in Britain is often too expensive in comparison with non-organic products and the price gap must narrow if the struggling sector is to return to strong growth.

Organic bread costs nearly a third more than non-organic, while the differential for Gala apples was 69%.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.