Friday, May 29, 2020

Grimsby firm forced to change its name after high court ruling

Grimsby-based Sainsbury’s supplier Scratch Meals has been forced to change the name of its flagship range designed by BBC’s Masterchef Winner, Ash Mair, after a year-long battle in the High Court.

London-based entrepreneur Amar Lodhia and his online meal delivery service Fit Kitchen  had requested Scratch Meals to give up use of the Fit Kitchen mark.

As an advocate for safer food standards, Mr Lodhia claimed that Scratch Meal’s use of the Fit Kitchen brand resulted in unabated reputational damage to his business. In a substantiated detailed list provided, a number of serious complaints were misdirected to Mr Lodhia’s business regarding Scratch Meal’s products.

Mr Lodhia approached Tom Blackett, former chairman of the Interbrand Group, to submit a witness statement to the court. Mr Blackett, a published author on branding, issued a statement that ultimately led to Scratch Meals giving up the Fit Kitchen mark.

According to former Environmental Health Officer Dr William Mason, Scratch Meals products should have been recalled by the Food Standards Agency last year. Dr Mason also gave evidence to the UK Government’s Public Accounts Committee on Food Safety, which casts serious doubt on the enforcement by North East Lincolnshire Council, the local authority responsible for ensuring food safety where Scratch Meals is based.

The Public Accounts Committee met on 28th October at the House of Commons during which Ministers openly questioned Food Standards Agency Chief Emily Miles and Policy Director Steve Wearne regarding the FSA’s handle over local authorities.

Mr Wearne told Ministers: “Food standards approaches of local authorities need to be reviewed and reformed… only 37% of programmed food standards inspections were undertaken by local authorities last year.”

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