Devon confectioner admits false chocolate claims

  • Published

A chocolate maker from south Devon who admitted falsely claiming his products were organic has been sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court.

Jocelyn Lally, 37, from East Allington, sold his Cocoa Tree brand of chocolate, in local shops.

He appeared in court following an inquiry by Devon Trading Standards.

He was sentenced on Monday to a 12 month supervision order and 40 hours community service. He was also ordered to pay £150 costs.

Lally had earlier admitted four charges of falsely claiming his products were organic at Torbay Magistrates' Court on 5 November.

Origin of food

The offences happened during 2009 and 2010.

The magistrates' court heard that Lally had previously had Soil Association accreditation for his chocolate but could not afford to renew his certification when it expired.

The certification involves a detailed audit of ingredients to ensure they are genuinely organic, Devon Trading Standards said.

Lally was convicted of similar offences in 2007 when he was fined a total of £2,800.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Roger Croad, from Devon County Council, said: "Claims about the method of production and origin of food are checked by Trading Standards Officers in support of honest, hard working local businesses lawfully producing excellent local food at a competitive price.

"Unfair and illegal trading is a fraud against the consumer and undermines producers of legitimate local goods."

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