You will also need accurate weighing scales if you are going to weigh food. These must either be crown stamped or bear some other approved mark to be legal for trade use – check this when you buy them.
All produce that you sell by weight must be sold in metric quantities - grammes and kilogrammes (Kg) and any unit prices must be the price per Kg. If you also want to put to put the price per pound (lb) as well you can - as older people often prefer to know this - but on any signs the price per pound should not be bigger or more prominent than the price per Kg. Selling things only by the pound is illegal. Even large supermarket chains sometimes break these rules – as selling things by the pound make things seem cheaper than they are, because customers are used to seeing the price per Kg.
All prices must be clearly indicated, for example by having price labels on all your boxes of produce or by having a blackboard with the prices. All food must also have its name (for example, ‘Tomatoes’) clearly shown on label, attached to the food or on a notice close to the food. The name used for melons and potatoes must include their variety (for example, ‘Maris Piper potatoes’ or ‘Galia melons’).
When selling food by weight you need to make sure customers know how much they are buying. This can be done by:
If you are weighing goods in front of customers you need to postion your scales so they can see the weight clearly.
There are rules of what fruit and vegetables you can sell by weight, per item or by the bunch. Click here for more guidelines on selling fruit and vegetables.
There is also specific weights and measures guidance on Bag and Box Schemes. This covers all selling methods (such as food co-ops) where the seller is selecting a variety of items of fresh fruits or vegetables and placing them in a container for sale. Weights and Measures law generally requires the weight of pre-packed foods to be made known to customers. However, for packs of fresh fruits and vegetables, you may sell ‘by the box’ if one or more of the following conditions apply:
All the rules relating to the sale of fresh fruits and vegetables still apply.
If you need more advice it is best to contact you local trading standards officer who will be based at your local council.