Episode 5 Rip Off Britain


Episode 5

Consumer series. Gloria Hunniford, Angela Rippon and Julia Somerville look at the cost of fish and chips, how much dairy farmers receive from a supermarket and foreign brand beers.


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Transcript


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There's a lot we don't know about the food on our plates

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and the shops and labels don't always tell you the whole story.

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I think they encourage you to buy more than you need

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and that causes a lot of waste.

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Whether you're staying in or going out,

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you've told us you can feel ripped off

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by the promises made for what you eat

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-and what you pay for it.

-How do you know that it's half price?

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What they've done, they've bumped the price up

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and then knocked it down.

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From claims that don't stack up to the secrets behind the packaging,

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we'll uncover the truth about Britain's food,

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so you can be sure you're getting what you expect at the right price.

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Your food, your money. This is Rip-Off Britain.

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Hello and a very warm welcome to Rip-Off Britain

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and our specialist series,

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getting our teeth into all sorts of things to do with food.

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Today, we'll be investigating some of the favourites

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in our cupboards and fridges - foods that most of us,

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let's face it have grown up with and that, in some cases,

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really are synonymous with Britain.

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But we're going to be asking

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if they're still synonymous with quality

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and, indeed, whether or not they still offer

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good old-fashioned value for money

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because you've been telling us that the cost of some of those favourites

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seems to have gone up rather more than perhaps it should.

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So, we're going to see if that is really the case,

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and, if so, why that is.

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In some cases, of course,

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it may be worth splashing out the extra money.

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On the other hand, it could be that a cheaper option is just as good.

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So, as ever, while we try to find out

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whether you really DO get what you pay for

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and if it even matters where it comes from,

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we'll have plenty of tips and advice

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to make sure you know exactly what you're getting for your money.

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Coming up, the supermarket milk raising money for dairy farmers,

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but not all of it goes to the ones that you might think.

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When I first saw the labelling,

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it stated that 23p per four pints was going back

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to what I would assume was UK dairy farmers,

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cos it represented a Union Jack on the label.

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That's why we thought it was a good idea to pay the extra money.

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And the bestselling lagers

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whose ads go big on the countries they apparently come from,

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so does it matter if, in fact, they're brewed a lot closer to home?

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It is a bit misleading

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if you're getting beers from foreign countries and we're brewing it here.

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It's not really coming from a foreign country, is it?

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A food story that's dominated the headlines in recent years

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is how much dairy farmers are paid by the big supermarkets

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for the milk that they sell them.

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It's a tricky issue for consumers

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because while we might want the price that we pay to stay low,

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what we don't want is for that to be at the expense of the people

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whose livelihood depends on actually producing it, which, of course,

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is exactly what the industry says has been happening,

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with some farmers squeezed out of business altogether.

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While the issue remains a pretty hot potato,

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one big-name store has come up with a solution

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that does seem to offer shoppers a real choice on this.

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But is it all that it seems? Well, that's the question

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that one Rip-Off Britain viewer has asked us to look into.

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The days when most of us

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had our milk delivered to our doorstep are long gone.

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Two semi-skinned, one silver top, number 18.

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And though milk consumption is up,

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the dairy farming industry is in crisis.

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Since the year 2000,

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over half of the UK's dairy farmers have gone out of business

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and many say that that's because it costs them more to produce the milk

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than the amount that they get back when they sell it.

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And one of the reasons sometimes cited for this

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is the competitive pricing of the supermarkets,

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who've been accused of milking the industry dry.

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-NEWS REPORT:

-Supermarkets say their pricing deals are fair

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but farmers say that they are paid less

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for milk than it costs to produce.

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All of this is news that bothered Malcolm Frances from Redditch.

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He wants to make sure that more of his cash

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ends up in the pockets of the farmers,

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rather than the hands of the retailers.

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So, when he heard about one of a number of supermarket schemes

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that claimed to give farmers a better deal,

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he was keen to find out more.

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I first saw the Morrisons Milk For Farmers on television,

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that they were going to bring it out.

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Morrisons supermarket says it's introducing a special brand of milk

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with 10p from every litre going to farmers which supply it.

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And then a couple of weeks later, we actually found it

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in our supermarket and that's how we started buying it.

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The Milk For Farmers scheme offers customers the option

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of paying a few pence more for their milk,

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with the extra money going straight back to the producers.

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And this is the milk in question -

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a four-pint bottle of milk costing £1.12,

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which is exactly 23p more than this exact same bottle,

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four pints of milk, British milk, costing 89p.

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But that's because... Look at the label.

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It says, "We give 23p back to the farmer."

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Which means the choice is yours. You can buy this four-pint bottle

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and feel really good about yourself because you know that 23p

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is going back to the hard-pressed dairy farmers.

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But which ones?

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The label, which says, "We give back to the farmer",

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it doesn't say which farmers.

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Although there's a Union Jack on here,

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specifying that it's British milk,

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it doesn't tell you which British farmers it goes back to.

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So, where does the extra money go?

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Well, the 23p added to the price of milk Malcolm bought at Morrisons

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firstly goes to the UK's largest dairy company, Arla,

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who distributes the milk

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that they get from 12,700 dairy farms right across Europe.

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The money raised from the milk sales are then split

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between all of those farms and not just the 3,000 or so in the UK.

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That's left Malcolm feeling like the scheme isn't quite as good

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for British farmers as he first thought.

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So much so, that he's now considering

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not buying the milk altogether.

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Is Malcolm right in considering

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that the Union flag on the bottle is slightly misleading?

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So, we've decided to put this labelling to the test

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and ask the shoppers, here in Peterborough,

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who they think gets this 23p.

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Once they've guessed,

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I'll ask them to put a sweetie in the corresponding milk bottle

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for either the EU or Great Britain.

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Can I ask you both to take a look at this?

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"23p we give back to the farmer."

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Now, looking at that label, who do you reckon gets that 23p?

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-It should be OUR farmers, the British farmers, I think.

-Yes.

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Yeah, with the Union Jack, "British Farmers" logo, yes.

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-I would guess British farmers.

-British farmers.

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I would say British because you've got the Union Jack.

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And the "British" up there,

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so you'd say the British farmers, wouldn't you?

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I would say British and European,

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because it just says, "We give back to the farmer",

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so I would just presume straightaway

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that would be both European and British

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because it doesn't actually say, "British".

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Out of the 31 people we asked,

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only seven thought that the extra money would be likely

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to benefit farmers outside the UK.

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The rest, like Malcolm, assumed it wouldn't go beyond our own shores.

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I have to admit I'm not that surprised

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that there were more shoppers, here in Peterborough,

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that assumed that that 23p was going to British dairy farmers,

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as opposed to the EU.

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I was a bit confused to start with myself.

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But, you know, nobody wants to knock an initiative

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that's aimed at helping hard-pressed dairy farmers,

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but I think our little straw poll demonstrates

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that really that labelling could be a bit clearer.

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But aside from the labelling, does the scheme benefit farmers

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in the way that Malcolm had initially hoped?

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Jonathan Ovens' family has owned this dairy farm,

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here in Wiltshire, for over 150 years.

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Come on, then. Up you go. Come on.

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Jonathan supplies milk to Arla, so directly benefits

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from the extra 23p charged at supermarket Morrisons.

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He's keen to show Malcolm round his farm and provide reassurance

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that whatever confusion there might be, it IS a good idea.

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-Hi, Jonathan.

-Hello, Malcolm. Jonathan Ovens, pleased to meet you.

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Seeing the Union Jack on the label, I presumed that all the 23p

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-was going to go to all the UK dairy farmers.

-No, it doesn't.

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The Union Jack on the label signifies that it's British milk

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that the consumer's buying because we know the British consumer

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wants to be assured that it's British milk that they're buying.

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If I was to stop buying that extra 23p for four pints,

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would it have an effect on the milk price?

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Yes, I would get less for my milk as a result of you stopping buying it.

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What Morrisons have done is they've enabled you, the consumer,

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to make the conscious choice to pay that extra 23p for the milk

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and I believe you've done it in the knowledge

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that us, the farmers, are going to get that 23p.

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At the end of the day, it's all down to my choice.

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It's your choice and I would encourage you

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to continue to buy that milk

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because you're helping me, as a dairy farmer, directly.

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We asked Morrisons whether the labelling

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on its Milk For Farmers bottles is as clear as it could be

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and the store told us that, following feedback from customers,

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from early 2016, it has started to roll out

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new labelling on these products.

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It said the Union flag is still there because, Morrisons says,

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it represents the fact that the milk is British, but in addition,

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more information about how the Arla scheme works has now been added.

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Of course, Morrisons isn't the only supermarket

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to have introduced some sort of scheme

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through which they can claim to support dairy farmers.

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Asda told us that, under a long-term contract,

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it's own-brand milk is also supplied by Arla

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and it bears Arla's "Farmer Owned" mark,

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which means that all earnings go back to farmers.

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M&S, Sainsbury's, the Co-op and Tesco all said

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that under their own schemes, they pay farmers fixed amounts

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that are not linked to volatile retail prices.

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M&S has been doing this for 16 years

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under its Milk Pledge Plus programme.

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It links the prices it pays to its 40-strong pool of farmers

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to the costs that THEY pay for production.

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As does Tesco, which told us that, since 2007,

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it has worked with farmers in its Sustainable Dairy Group,

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to set the price it pays them for its own-brand milk

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higher than the costs of production.

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Tesco says this means its British suppliers are paid...

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Sainsbury's said it reviews the set price it pays

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the 290 farmers supplying its own-brand milk every three months,

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working in collaboration with its Dairy Development Group.

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Sainsbury's told us that these farmers make a profit

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from every pint of milk sold.

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Meanwhile, the Co-op and Waitrose both told us that they, too, work

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in collaboration with farmers to set a fair price for their milk

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and that these prices are reviewed regularly.

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But while all that paints a very rosy picture,

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it's only a matter of months since protests from the dairy industry,

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which saw farmers herding cattle through supermarkets,

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led to the big names agreeing

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to increase the amount that they pay for milk

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and though that was welcomed by the National Farmers Union,

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it still claimed that some stores continue to pay

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less than the milk cost to produce.

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As for Malcolm,

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seeing how farmers like Jonathan can benefit from the Morrisons scheme,

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has restored his faith in it and he's now started paying

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that little bit extra for milk once again.

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Jonathan made me really understand about the running of the farms,

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of producing that extra pint to go on everybody's table,

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and if he can't make a profit, then his business will suffer

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so, therefore, what Morrisons have done to help them is a good idea.

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I will still buy it, hoping it will make a difference.

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Nearly eight billion pints of lager were consumed in Britain

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just last year alone and, while most of it is very heavily marketed

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as coming from overseas, in reality it's much more likely

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to come from somewhere much closer to home.

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So, if a beer is sold as being European,

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Asian, American, Australian

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or even if it has a label in a foreign language,

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does it actually matter if it's brewed

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in, say, Manchester or Northampton?

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We hit the town to find out how much drinkers really know

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about where their favourite tipple comes from

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and whether their enthusiasm goes a little bit flat

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when they find out that what they thought was a bit exotic

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actually has just benefitted from some very effective marketing.

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Wine may have now overtaken beer

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as Britain's most popular alcoholic drink,

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but the good old pint is enjoying a revival.

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Traditional British ales are back in fashion

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but lager is still the beer that Brits buy the most.

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And many of the bestselling brands are those we associate

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with either Continental Europe or even further afield

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and that's thanks

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to multimillion-pound marketing campaigns

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that champion their national heritage.

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You little ripper.

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Most foreign lagers are synonymous with their country of origin,

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so much so, that when we asked punters at this Manchester pub

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to guess the country of origin for these particular brews,

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most of them were right every time.

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Kronenbourg's French. France.

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Is it German beer?

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I would associate Becks with Germany.

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Cobra beer's associated with India.

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Australia, obviously.

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-San Miguel is associated with Spain.

-Spain.

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Stella is from Belgium.

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Full marks. But the reality behind those slick marketing campaigns

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is a little different because, despite what you might think,

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90% of the UK's consumption of these apparently foreign brands

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is actually brewed right here in the UK.

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Take Foster's, for example, one of Britain's bestselling beers.

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One of its ads claimed the name was "Australian for lager".

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In 1888, William and Ralph Foster gave Australia

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its first taste of true refreshment.

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Based on the adverts, I'd definitely say Australia.

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In fact, the amber nectar in most of the UK's cans of Foster's

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is actually made, not Down Under, but in Manchester.

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And what's more synonymous with India than a bottle of Cobra?

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Cobra - splendidly Indian, superbly smooth.

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-I associate Cobra with India.

-Just need a curry now.

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But most UK Cobras are brewed miles away from India,

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in fact, in Burton upon Trent.

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Next, a beer that conjures up sun, sand and the Spanish Costas -

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San Miguel.

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San Miguel. Now, that's a beer with an amazing story.

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I associate this beer with Spain.

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But most of the San Miguel you'll drink here in the UK

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is brewed in the not-so-hot Northampton.

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Take a good look and you'll see

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that these all these bottles do have a clear disclaimer,

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saying that they are, indeed, brewed in the UK.

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That message flashes up in the ads as well.

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But drink connoisseurs, like Jamie Goode,

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believe that the marketing of such lagers

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can be misleading to British drinkers,

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who may be tempted to pay more for these so-called foreign brands.

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I think we Brits quite like foreign things.

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We find them interesting and, when it comes to beer,

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I think the Brits, generally speaking,

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are prepared to pay more for beers that are foreign,

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that come from somewhere else, with a nice image associated with them.

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If you go into a pub, you'll see some of the most expensive lagers

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are the ones that are from other countries.

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So, after our pub goers had been so definite

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about where they thought these lagers came from,

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how did they react when we revealed where they're really brewed?

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It's a Spanish beer, so I'd expect it to be brought over from Spain.

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It is a bit misleading if you're getting beers

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from foreign countries and we're brewing it here.

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It's not really coming from a foreign country, is it?

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If it tastes good, I don't think it should matter,

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but I don't think they should rip you off for drinking import beer

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when it's not import beer.

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It is misleading, isn't it?

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It shouldn't be brewed in Manchester when it's from Australia,

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supposedly, you know.

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I can't imagine the Aussies drinking that, myself.

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I don't mind where it's brewed as long as it was brewed

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to the same recipe as the country that it comes from.

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So, while some drinkers did feel they were being misled,

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others simply don't care where their lagers are brewed,

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as long as it all tastes nice.

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And that's a view the Advertising Standards Authority took

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over this 2014 ad from Kronenbourg.

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Featuring the former French

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and Manchester United football legend Eric Cantona,

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it plays on the whole idea that the lager embodies the French spirit.

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Here, in Alsace, things are a little bit different.

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The hop farmers are treated like the footballers of Britain.

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They are idolised and adored, and why not?

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They are living legends.

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So, there you go.

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A complaint was made that the ad was misleading

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because it suggested the beer was brewed in France

0:17:480:17:51

when, in actual fact, it was in Manchester.

0:17:510:17:53

While, initially, it seemed the regulator would take the same view,

0:17:530:17:56

ultimately it changed its mind and said that the ad was fine

0:17:560:18:00

because its focus was on the hops used to produce the beer,

0:18:000:18:03

which were sourced in France, rather than the brewing process itself.

0:18:030:18:07

We spoke to the brewers of all those lagers

0:18:070:18:10

commonly associated with more far-flung lands.

0:18:100:18:13

All said they are proud to brew their beers in the UK,

0:18:130:18:16

while reiterating that they don't make any secret of this fact

0:18:160:18:19

on their labels.

0:18:190:18:21

Heineken UK, which makes Foster's and Kronenbourg's 1664, told us

0:18:210:18:25

that brewing in Britain provides employment to thousands of people

0:18:250:18:29

and contributes millions of pounds to the economy,

0:18:290:18:32

while very reasonably pointing out that...

0:18:320:18:34

The companies all emphasised that the heritage of their beers

0:18:400:18:44

is firmly rooted in the countries they're associated with,

0:18:440:18:47

with many of them still using the same recipes or even ingredients

0:18:470:18:51

as they were when they were first brewed.

0:18:510:18:53

Foster's, for example, still uses the same Australian yeast.

0:18:530:18:57

But, for Jamie, it's all about transparency for the customer

0:18:590:19:03

and he reckons that the growth in popularity

0:19:030:19:05

of traditional British ales is a sign

0:19:050:19:07

that the novelty of those not-quiet-so-foreign lagers

0:19:070:19:11

may be starting to fade.

0:19:110:19:13

I would urge the big brewers to make it clearer

0:19:130:19:17

which beers are actually imported

0:19:170:19:19

and which beers are produced under licence here in the UK.

0:19:190:19:22

One of the great things this resurgence of interest

0:19:220:19:25

in British beer has done,

0:19:250:19:27

is it means that people are moving away

0:19:270:19:29

from this conspicuous consumption,

0:19:290:19:32

this "I've got this posh foreign lager in my glass

0:19:320:19:35

"that doesn't actually taste particularly different

0:19:350:19:38

"or particularly foreign", and then moving towards,

0:19:380:19:40

"Actually, I've got an authentic product in my glass

0:19:400:19:42

"that tastes interesting and is something we can be proud of."

0:19:420:19:45

What's your favourite food? Well, among us Brits,

0:19:500:19:54

curries and roast chicken come pretty high on the list

0:19:540:19:57

and so, of course, does fish and chips.

0:19:570:19:59

In fact, would you believe that every year,

0:19:590:20:01

we spend more than £1 billion on satisfying our appetite for them.

0:20:010:20:05

And though the fish and chips may not have changed too much

0:20:050:20:08

over the years, what you pay for them may well have done.

0:20:080:20:11

And that's what our next viewer wrote to us about.

0:20:110:20:13

He's been buying fish and chips for over 40 years

0:20:130:20:16

and he wants to know why,

0:20:160:20:18

when his meal is almost identical to the one he bought decades ago,

0:20:180:20:22

he's now paying so much more for the privilege of eating it.

0:20:220:20:26

Fish and chips consumption is on the rise

0:20:280:20:30

and while it's still a long way short of its First World War heyday,

0:20:300:20:34

we now eat some 382 million portions every year.

0:20:340:20:38

That's about six servings

0:20:380:20:40

for every man, woman and child in the country.

0:20:400:20:42

But, as the popularity of fish and chips has shot up,

0:20:420:20:46

has its price gone the same way?

0:20:460:20:48

Well, that's certainly the suspicion of Rip-Off Britain viewer

0:20:480:20:51

and dedicated fish-and-chipper John Spicer from Bodmin.

0:20:510:20:55

John said that in 1960, he remembers

0:20:560:20:58

a fish and chip supper cost one and sixpence.

0:20:580:21:01

I'd love to be able to say I'm far too young

0:21:010:21:04

to remember what that means but, in fact, I know

0:21:040:21:06

it works out at about £1.54 in today's money

0:21:060:21:10

and you don't need me to tell you that these days,

0:21:100:21:12

you're likely to have to pay a whole lot more than that

0:21:120:21:14

for your fish and chips.

0:21:140:21:16

John pays between £6 and £8 for his fish and chips

0:21:170:21:20

and says he'd like to know why. It seems to him

0:21:200:21:23

the cost has risen four times more than the rate of inflation.

0:21:230:21:27

So, is he right that the price of fish and chips,

0:21:270:21:30

still the UK's favourite dish, has gone up more than it should?

0:21:300:21:34

A good place to start

0:21:350:21:37

is by asking one of the UK's biggest fish and chips suppliers.

0:21:370:21:40

VA Whitley has been a family business for well over 100 years.

0:21:400:21:44

Its founder's grandson, Tony Rogers, is now the company's chairman.

0:21:440:21:49

But it's clear this isn't a question with a simple answer.

0:21:490:21:52

So, Tony, what affects the cost of fish and chips?

0:21:540:21:58

Well, it's, basically, down to supply and demand.

0:21:580:22:01

For example, in the restaurant world,

0:22:010:22:03

there's been a heck of a run on sea bass,

0:22:030:22:06

so sea bass has been over-caught and now it's getting fairly short

0:22:060:22:10

and, as a consequence, more expensive.

0:22:100:22:13

Obviously, you have to pass your own costs on to your customers

0:22:130:22:17

-who are the fish and chip shops.

-Yes.

0:22:170:22:20

So, once the suppliers' prices go up,

0:22:220:22:24

that increase is passed on to the individual shops.

0:22:240:22:27

The Bridge restaurant is in Norden, Greater Manchester,

0:22:290:22:33

where a standard fish and chips is £4.90.

0:22:330:22:36

It's the owner, Tom, who has to deal with all the fluctuations

0:22:360:22:39

in those wholesale costs and he's got a surprising way of doing it.

0:22:390:22:44

So, Tom, tell me what goes into the pricing of fish and chips?

0:22:440:22:47

We buy our fish in fresh

0:22:470:22:49

so, obviously, that's dependent on the market prices.

0:22:490:22:52

Obviously, potatoes, they range in price quite a lot,

0:22:520:22:55

so it's just a case of what the market predicts.

0:22:550:22:58

We try and set our prices

0:22:580:23:00

so we're not raising them and lowering them throughout the year.

0:23:000:23:03

I don't understand how that works, though,

0:23:030:23:05

because if the cost of the individual commodities

0:23:050:23:08

are going up and down, how do you manage to keep your prices level?

0:23:080:23:12

It's very tough.

0:23:120:23:13

Sometimes we're not making a great deal of money on the product,

0:23:130:23:16

other times we're making a living out of it.

0:23:160:23:18

It's just dependent on, like I say, what the market predictions are.

0:23:180:23:22

A good example of how costs to a business like this can vary

0:23:220:23:26

is with cod.

0:23:260:23:28

Up until 2012, it was on the Marine Conservation Society's

0:23:280:23:31

endangered list of fish.

0:23:310:23:34

But now, its numbers are back up, as is our appetite for it

0:23:340:23:38

and if there's plenty more fish in the sea, that's good news for Tom.

0:23:380:23:42

I'm heading five miles down the road to Tompsons chippy in Bury,

0:23:430:23:47

where its 85-year-old owner, Jack,

0:23:470:23:49

may be able to help answer that question

0:23:490:23:51

about whether prices really have risen more than they should.

0:23:510:23:54

He's been here since the 1970s,

0:23:540:23:57

although his daughter, Caroline, has now taken the business on.

0:23:570:24:00

And when it comes to the cost of it,

0:24:000:24:03

when did you last put your prices up?

0:24:030:24:05

We haven't put our prices up for over five years now.

0:24:050:24:08

-That's remarkable.

-Yeah.

0:24:080:24:10

Even though the cost of fish

0:24:100:24:12

and the cost of potatoes and so on has fluctuated?

0:24:120:24:14

I don't think you can keep putting your prices up

0:24:140:24:17

cos I think people would get quite disgruntled,

0:24:170:24:19

so sometimes you just have to swallow it.

0:24:190:24:22

It's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's just a fact.

0:24:220:24:26

Fish and chips has always been thought of as an affordable treat.

0:24:260:24:30

Here, at Tompsons, a standard portion is £4.70

0:24:300:24:33

and Jack, who's been frying for the last 40 years,

0:24:330:24:36

thinks that, while the prices have gone up,

0:24:360:24:39

it's all in line with everything else.

0:24:390:24:41

What's more, Jack reckons

0:24:430:24:45

these days we're getting a bigger fish for our money.

0:24:450:24:48

I'd say the portions now are twice as high as what they were then.

0:24:480:24:51

We used to do a 2oz, now they're 4oz or 6oz.

0:24:510:24:56

And the chips they give now

0:24:560:24:58

are a hell of a lot more than we used to give.

0:24:580:25:01

It's not just Jack who'd say that the portion sizes have rocketed.

0:25:020:25:06

Supplier Tony agrees.

0:25:060:25:08

His own research shows that the average size

0:25:080:25:10

of a standard fish was 2.5oz, back in the 1960s,

0:25:100:25:14

which he puts down to the hangover from post-war rationing.

0:25:140:25:17

Today he says that a portion of fish has increased dramatically

0:25:170:25:22

and there's a distinct north-south divide.

0:25:220:25:25

In the north, the average size is between 6oz and 8oz.

0:25:250:25:29

But in the south, it's 8oz to 12oz.

0:25:310:25:34

Either way, according to Tony,

0:25:340:25:35

you're getting much more than you would have done in the 1960s,

0:25:350:25:38

when the average helping

0:25:380:25:40

was more like our mini fish and chips option today.

0:25:400:25:44

So, is it correct that the price of fish

0:25:440:25:46

we eat at our chippies has rocketed?

0:25:460:25:48

Here at Rip-Off Britain, we tried to work it out.

0:25:480:25:51

With so many sizes, prices and outlets across the UK,

0:25:510:25:54

pinning down just one average national price

0:25:540:25:57

for our fish and chips isn't easy.

0:25:570:25:59

But taking everything into account,

0:25:590:26:01

some analysts have estimated it to be around £3.30,

0:26:010:26:05

rising to £5.50 in London.

0:26:050:26:07

The industry itself doesn't have an official figure,

0:26:070:26:10

but its own comparisons would probably put the costs

0:26:100:26:14

a little higher, with a good deal of regional variation.

0:26:140:26:17

Unsurprisingly, they found

0:26:170:26:19

the priciest fish and chips were in London,

0:26:190:26:21

where a standard cod or haddock and chips

0:26:210:26:24

can be as much as £9.90 a portion.

0:26:240:26:26

Scotland wasn't far behind, with the most expensive around £9.50,

0:26:260:26:31

although in some places, you'd pay only half that.

0:26:310:26:35

In Northern Ireland, prices were typically around £6.40

0:26:350:26:38

and the cheapest chippies overall were in the Midlands,

0:26:380:26:42

where you'd typically pay anything between £4.50 and £6.95.

0:26:420:26:47

Now, that's by no means a comprehensive survey

0:26:470:26:50

and you'll no doubt know individual places

0:26:500:26:53

where you can pick up a portion for more

0:26:530:26:55

or, with any luck, less than those industry figures.

0:26:550:26:58

But what's interesting is that, once you take a closer look,

0:26:580:27:01

they may not show as much of a rise

0:27:010:27:04

as John from Bodmin had feared when he wrote to us.

0:27:040:27:07

Once you've taken into account those bigger portion sizes

0:27:070:27:10

and added on 20% VAT, which wasn't included

0:27:100:27:13

in the price of fish and chips before the early 1980s,

0:27:130:27:17

the modern equivalent of the one shilling and sixpence

0:27:170:27:20

he used to pay works out at around £6.66.

0:27:200:27:24

That's not far off the typical prices

0:27:240:27:27

I've seen on MY fish deliveries.

0:27:270:27:29

And fish and chip shop owner Jack agrees.

0:27:290:27:33

So, people who perhaps complain now

0:27:330:27:35

-about the price of fish and chips...

-Mmm.

0:27:350:27:38

Do you have sympathy with them or do you think they've got it wrong?

0:27:380:27:41

I think they've got it wrong.

0:27:410:27:43

If you compare with other prices, it's just...

0:27:430:27:46

..almost the same.

0:27:480:27:49

If you think that you're paying over the odds for anything,

0:27:510:27:54

then do please let us know.

0:27:540:27:55

And it's not just problems or questions to do with what you eat

0:27:550:27:58

that we want to hear about.

0:27:580:28:00

It could be any consumer problem whatsoever.

0:28:000:28:02

That's because we've got plenty more Rip-Off Britain programmes

0:28:020:28:05

coming up over the next few months,

0:28:050:28:07

so it's not just for this series on food

0:28:070:28:09

that your e-mails and letters are our bread and butter.

0:28:090:28:12

Any situation that's left you feeling let-down or out of pocket,

0:28:120:28:16

just get in touch with us

0:28:160:28:17

and, if we can, we'll do our very best to help, won't we?

0:28:170:28:20

We really do appreciate all your e-mails and letters

0:28:200:28:23

and we're only sorry that there isn't time

0:28:230:28:25

to look into all of them, aren't we?

0:28:250:28:26

But remember, you can always find tips and advice on our website.

0:28:260:28:30

Even when we're not on the air,

0:28:330:28:35

you can join the conversations on our Facebook page.

0:28:350:28:38

But we'll see you again very soon with more of your stories,

0:28:380:28:40

-so until then, from all of us, goodbye.

-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

0:28:400:28:43

Gloria Hunniford, Angela Rippon and Julia Somerville look at the true cost of Britain's fish and chips. They also examine how much a supermarket claims it passes on to dairy farmers and reveal how lagers trading off their foreign roots actually have their origins closer to home.