Buckfast in court challenge over anti-crime labels
The distributors of the Westcountry-made tonic wine Buckfast are taking legal action against a Scottish police force in a bid to stop it from adding anti-crime labels to their bottles.
J Chandler & Co wants a judge to stop bottle marking because the company says the practice stigmatises the brand.
The firm yesterday was due to lodge a case against Strathclyde Police, which has declined to comment before receiving a court summons.
In 2010, the same force said the tonic wine had been mentioned in more than 5,000 crime reports over the previous three years.
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It asks some retailers to attach police stickers to bottles of Buckfast and some other alcoholic drinks.
This allows officers to trace bottles associated with crime back to the store from which they were purchased.
However, Buckfast's distributor believes the practice is illegal and discriminates against its brand.
Lawyers for the firm are to ask a judge to find that the police have unlawfully encouraged retailers to label bottles of Buckfast or withdraw the product from sale.
The tonic wine was first made by Benedictine monks at Buckfast Abbey in the 1890s. It was originally sold in small quantities as a medicine using the slogan "Three small glasses a day, for good health and lively blood".