Tag Archives: John Lewis

Waitrose food labelling scam – Waitrose supermarkets stops telling customers where their products are made

Waitrose logo Dec 2015

I am deeply disappointed with Waitrose / John Lewis because they no longer label where all their own brand foods and other products come from, either on the products themselves or on their website.

I was in Waitrose in Reading the other day (27th October 2015) and as usual checked the packaging of what I was buying to make sure it was made or grown in the UK and I noticed that Waitrose no longer put country of origin on all their products.

I suppose this was to be expected as John Lewis have been failing to label country of origin on many of their products for a while, but disappointing because Waitrose / John Lewis profess their support for British farmers and British manufacturers and because as a customer I want to know where what I am buying is made. There is I understand generally no legal requirement to say where goods are from, but as a consumer the lack of information and hence lack of choice now being offered by Waitrose / John Lewis is a let down.

Examples of Waitrose own brand products with no country of origin given anymore are:

  • Waitrose Sweet and Salty Popcorn.
  • Waitrose Rich Coffee Roast (see photographs below).
  • Waitrose Essential Macaroni.

Up until recently all Waitrose products, like those in other supermarkets, always stated country of origin. I am at a loss to see why Waitrose would change that, given that they are a British firm and claim to support Great Britain and their local communities.

Presumably those products with no country of origin labelling are now being made abroad, yet Waitrose customers undoubtedly think, because Waitrose have a Royal Warrant and because they say you support British manufacturing and British farming, that they will be made in Britain. This is very misleading, and it amounts to a scam to mislead their customers.

I want to buy goods that are designed, manufactured or assembled, or grown in the UK, or preferably all of these; with raw materials sourced here too where possible and packaged in the UK using UK made packaging; and with provenance clearly labeled.

Waitrose / John Lewis can work to support British companies and British jobs and be environmentally friendly (by reducing their carbon footprint through reducing the miles goods are transported) by buying and selling British.

Of course I recognise that international trade is vital to the UK and that trade is a two way street. I don’t advocate protectionism and there is nothing wrong with buying products from abroad. I just want Waitrose / John Lewis to return to clear labelling so customers have a choice.

I want to make informed decisions about what I buy, and I’m interested in the provenance and sustainability of products. Local sourcing plays a part in that, and I’m proud to support quality British manufacturing and British farmers. Sadly, as Waitrose is my favourite supermarket, I will not be able to buy much in there now because of the lack of labelling and my money will be spent elsewhere.

Can consumers influence greedy retailers to make changes for the better? I don’t know but I would ask Waitrose / John Lewis to go back to their previous policy of clear labelling please.

I wrote to Waitrose with my concerns on 28th October 2015. They replied promptly saying they would get back to me, which they have now done. They say “that, when deciding whether or not to include country of origin we take the following in to account:

– Whether it is a legal requirement to do so, as with Beef for example. We display country of origin labelling on all meat and meat products we sell.
– Whether there is a specific policy to do so (such as with dairy, where we are currently reviewing the information we show).
– Whether the products packaging or style may indicate a geographical location, but the product is produced elsewhere – such as an Italian ‘style’ ready meal that has been produced int he UK.”

This is all very confusing and unclear.  Please join me in pushing Waitrose to go back to labelling country of origin on everything. Ask at Customer Service next time you are in store (show them a product and ask where it was made and why that is not labeled) and write to Waitrose to complain.  Please do not be buy any Waitrose own brand products that do not say where they are made on them.  Thank you for your support. Waitrose, please stop misleading your customers.

Essential Waitrose Rich Roast Coffee instant granules. Front view. Note country of origin is no longer given. Presumably this Waitrose coffee is now foreign made.

Essential Waitrose Rich Roast Coffee instant granules. Front view. Note country of origin is no longer given. Presumably this Waitrose coffee is now foreign made. This coffee used to be clearly labelled as processed and packed in the UK. Photograph by author.

Essential Waitrose Rich Roast Coffee instant granules. Front view. Note country of origin is no longer given. Presumably this Waitrose coffee is now foreign made.

Essential Waitrose Rich Roast Coffee instant granules. Label view. Note country of origin is no longer given. Presumably this Waitrose coffee is now foreign made. Photograph by author.

Waitrose Christmas 2015 Chocolate Biscuit Selection - again there is no country of origin labelling on this Waitrose product.

Waitrose Christmas 2015 Chocolate Biscuit Selection – again there is no country of origin labelling on this Waitrose product. Photograph by author.

Waitrose Christmas 2015 Chocolate Biscuit Selection. Label detail view - again there is no country of origin labelling on this Waitrose product.

Waitrose Christmas 2015 Chocolate Biscuit Selection. Label detail view – again there is no country of origin labelling on this Waitrose product. Photograph by author.

Some products (residual lines perhaps) are still labelled with country of origin, such as the Waitrose toilet roll below.

Waitrose Essential uktra soft bathroom tissue white - labelled “Produced in the UK”.

Waitrose Essential ultra soft bathroom tissue white – labelled “Produced in the UK”. Photograph by author.

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A response from John Lewis is a very heartening read! – A Truly British Family – Consumer champions of manufacturing & farming

A response from John Lewis is a very heartening read! – A Truly British Family – Consumer champions of manufacturing & farming.

An update on John Lewis’s progress in buying more British goods from the British Family. JLP have delivered (and indeed it seems exceeded) on their promise to stock more British made goods. This article from the British Family gives you the detail and as James & Emily point out “his seems to be driven by a consumer demand for items made in the UK, which is exactly what needs to happen”. Well done JLP.

British Made Diaries – Get a diary for next year that is made in the UK

It’s that time of the year when you will want to buy a diary for next year. When you are getting your 2015 diary please choose a British made diary. Before buying, check inside and see where the diary you are looking at is actually made (printed and bound).

Sadly this year neither John Lewis nor Clinton Cards seem to be stocking any Letts or any other British made diaries. I got my Letts 2015 “made in Great Britain” 2015 diary in WHSmith (most of the other diaries they had were foreign made though). Note that Collins (Colins Debden) diaries are all foreign made these days.

It is still very possible to choose a UK diary that is actually made (printed and bound) in the UK and you can find a selection here.

Buy a British made dairy for next year.

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015.  Made in Great Britain (front view).

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015. Made in Great Britain (front view).  Photo by author.

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015. Made in Great Britain (rear view).  Photo by author.

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015. Made in Great Britain (rear view). Photo by author.

British made hats and British made scarves – Hats Made in the UK – Scarves made in the UK

If you want to get ahead, get a hat

I have heard it said that a hat worn well is part of a British gentleman’s heritage. For ladies it is said a hat for every occasion is required. These days it probably won’t be a bowler you choose, but perhaps it’s time to rediscover the hat?

Get ahead, get a British made hat!

British made – watch caps, beanies, wooly hats, trapper hats, Jinnah caps, pork pie hats, flat caps, dress hats, trilby hats, fedoras, homburgs, bowlers, top hats, panama hats, tweed hats, military headwear, baseball caps, etc.

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John Lewis to ‘repatriate’ textile manufacturing in made in Britain push – Telegraph

John Lewis to ‘repatriate’ textile manufacturing in made in Britain push – Telegraph.

I originally saw this on the Tumblr blog by Spoke – http://spokefit.com – https://twitter.com/spokefit – Spoke have their men’s trousers made in London, England and the prices are reasonable.  Made using mostly Italian components.*

*Having looked at the spoke website and blog again today (22/11/14) I can find no reference to any of their products being made in England and on Facebook it says they are made in Europe, so this is wrong.  Spoke clothes appear to be foreign made after all, although they do say they use some British fabrics.

It would be nice if JLP really does increase their proportion of British made products they sell. If they can bring more textile manufacture back to the UK in doing so all the better.

Disappointingly John Lewis do not always label their products with the country of origin and where this is the case the products in question are foreign made.  JLP still have quite a way to go, as most of the products in their stores are foreign made.

The article also mentions “on-shoring” by other companies, including:

  • Topshop giving more work to British suppliers.
  • DFS increasing its UK production.
  • Hornby planning to make a new range of Airfix kits in Newhaven, East Sussex.
  • And online bathroom company Bathrooms.com giving more work to British suppliers.

Long may this trend continue.

 

British Made Blankets and Throws – Hainsworth Textiles and Scarlet and Argent / John Lewis Blankets / Melin Tregwynt Mill / Witney Blankets / etc.

Founded in 1783 Royal Warrant holders A.W. Hainsworth & Sons Ltd. manufacture a wide range of wool and textile products for both home and international markets. Best known for manufacturing the scarlet cloth from which the Queen’s guards uniform is made, Hainsworth manufacturers – protective fabric for fire services and military personnel; snooker and pool cloth; woollen coffins; car headlining cloth for the likes of Jaguar, Austin and Bentley; blankets; Newmarket horse blankets; interior fabrics; curtain fabric; military uniform cloth; ceremonial uniform dress cloth; tribal blankets; textiles for the theatre and cinema industries; specialised industrial cloth such as biscuit cloth, a woollen baize used for conveying biscuits; academic scarf cloth; blazer fabric; fabric for clothes making; fabric for making into re-enactment clothing; uniform caps; hats and badges; hot air balloon fabric; table coverings; floor coverings, hotel blankets; laundry textile products; piano baize for companies like Steinway and Renner; gaming and card table cloth; cabinet linings; etc. As far I can tell all their fabrics are made at their mill in West Yorkshire. Trade but they also have a retail site selling finished products. Hainsworth also manufactures the historic Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket, which has iconic status in Canada. I am not sure how much Hainsworth use British wool.

Hainsworth is one of the few companies still making blankets in the UK.

Hainsworth also make Newmarket Horse Blankets in England.

Hainsworth equestrian blanket

Hainsworth equestrian blanket

http://hainsworth.co.uk/

Hainsworth’s retail site is Scarlet and Argent – http://www.scarletandargent.co.uk

Each Scarlet and Argent piece is created exclusively and entirely in their specialist Yorkshire mill.  Woollen blankets, throws and accessories (cushions, teddy bears and hot water bottle covers) made in England.

What’s the link between one of the oldest textile mills in the UK and the Royal baby? – See more at: http://makeitbritish.co.uk/gifts/what-is-the-connection-between-one-of-the-oldest-textile-mills-in-the-uk-and-the-soon-to-arrive-royal-baby/#sthash.TvXYBwfy.dpuf

Scarlet and Argent Chamber Blanket - grey. Made in England.

Scarlet and Argent Chamber Blanket – grey. Made in England.

John Lewis blankets

John Lewis wool holey blanket. Made in Britain.

John Lewis wool holey blanket. Made in Britain. Photo by author.

John Lewis wool holey blanket. Made in Britain. 2

John Lewis wool holey (cellular) blanket. Made in Britain. 2. Photo by author.

John Lewis pure new wool blanket. Made in Britain.

John Lewis pure new wool blanket. Made in Britain. Photo by author.

John Lewis merino wool blanket. Made in Britain.

John Lewis merino wool blanket. Made in Britain. Photo by author.

Some John Lewis blankets are made in Britain. John Lewis is one of the few retailers still selling British made blankets. John Lewis UK made blankets are excellent quality and reasonably priced.

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Are the Office Supplies and Stationery in your Workplace, School, Club, and Home made in the UK? Plus British made fridge magnets

British made stationery.

Manufacturing in the UK allows companies to control supply, guarantee quality, offer flexibility and to be ethical and environmentally sound.

You and your company or organisation or club or school or university can support British companies and British jobs and be environmentally friendly (by reducing your carbon footprint through reducing the miles goods are transported) by buying British at home, at work and for school.

A good starting point is to buy only British made stationery (pens, pencils, staplers, paper clips, scissors, paper, files, etc.).  Don’t order stationery unless you know where it is made.  Refuse to buy cheap foreign made stationery.  Buy British stationery for your workplace and home and it will last longer and so save you or your company money long term.  Most stationery these days is foreign made but you can insists on buying British made stationery.  Just say 10 years ago most stationery was made in the UK, but sadly this is no longer the case.Most stationery these days is foreign made but you can insists on buying British made stationery.  Just say 10 years ago most stationery was made in the UK, but sadly this is no longer the case. We all know those cheap Chinese made staplers don’t last 5 minutes, whereas the old made in England stapler that has been floating around your office since who knows when is still going strong!  My old made in England Rexel stapler is superb quality; modern Chinese made Rexel staplers are very poor quality and do not last very long at all before they are broken.

An old made in Britain Rexel stapler. Still going strong after many many years. Photograpgh by author.

An old made in Britain Rexel stapler. Still going strong after many many years. Photograpgh by author.

An old made in Britain Rexel stapler. Still going strong after many many years. Photograpgh by author. Base view 1.

An old made in Britain Rexel stapler. Still going strong after many many years. Photograpgh by author. Base view 1.

An old made in Britain Rexel stapler. Still going strong after many many years. Photograpgh by author. Base view 2.

An old made in Britain Rexel stapler. Still going strong after many many years. Photograpgh by author. Base view 2.

A vintage box of made in UK Rexel No.56 staples. Sadly Rexel / Acco staples are now foriegn made. Photograph by author.

A vintage box of made in UK Rexel No.56 staples. Sadly Rexel / Acco staples are now foriegn made. Photograph by author.

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