For years now, the Chef has been talking about instances of mislabelling which he comes across regularly in supermarkets. In these cases, the mislabelling is absurdly apparent because the name of the country which the shelf label gives (Canada, for example) is different from the label written on the produce itself.
But with general price increases and significantly higher prices for organic produce, the practice of fake labelling starts to pay off for suppliers.
The following article appeared in the Financial Post recently: Fake labelling
It describes large fines for mislabelling levied against an established vendor at our Ontario Food Terminal. So how do you guard against this? Find a retail produce vendor who is an expert and has been established long enough to see through counterfeit labelling. In the case of organic produce, look for the area in the store where overripe and old produce is found. Because the organic sections do not turn over as fast as non-organic sections, the look of the organic produce sections suffer. Be suspicious of fresh produce there.
Photo by Anne Preble