FINES and costs totalling more than £17,000 have been imposed on a London-based importer after an investigation into fake honey by West Sussex Trading Standards officers.
The prosecution followed test purchases of jars being sold as honey at an independent supermarket in Worthing.
Tests showed there was absolutely no honey in the products which just consisted of a syrup substance.
The investigation was recently featured by the BBC in its series Fake Britain.
Aytac Foods Ltd pleaded not guilty to four offences involving Hasbal Honey with Syrup and Aynoor Honey with Nuts.
The company was convicted at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (June 20) and ordered to pay fines and the full costs of bringing the case, totalling £17,119.
The court also ordered the destruction of all the jars seized in the investigation – a total of 2,484.
Magistrates said they were not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the company had taken all reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence.
Christine Field, West Sussex County Council member for public protection, said: “It is vitally important that consumers are not misled when buying products.
“Although these jars were not harmful to health, they contained nothing but a syrup and not a trace of honey as advertised.
“Prosecutions like this also show Trading Standards has a key role to play in supporting the local economy.”