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220505 | Prices at 'value brand' Tory minister's family farm shop dwarf supermarket rates George Eustice is 'trustee of family'

Prices at 'value brand' Tory minister's family farm shop dwarf supermarket rates

George Eustice is a 'trustee of a family discretionary will trust which owns shares' in a Cornish fruit and veg farm - which sells products at higher rates than supermarkets

George Eustice
George Eustice said people should buy supermarket value brands to survive the cost of living crisis (
Image: Getty Images)

Prices at a farm shop partly owned by the family of Tory MP George Eustice dwarf supermarket rates, The Mirror can reveal.

The Environment Secretary, 50, is “a trustee of a family discretionary will trust which owns shares” in a 28-acre Cornish fruit and veg farm, according to the Register of MPs’ Interest.

There is a huge gulf in price between produce sold in his family Trevaskis Farm shop - and own brand goods on supermarket shelves.

At Trevaskis Farm in Hayle, a 250g pack of fresh Pasta Co fusilli is £1.95 compared with 300g of Tesco fusilli for £1.

A 160g jar of Casalinga Basil Pesto is £3.40; Morrisons own brand green pesto is £1.

A 220g jar of Casalinga chargrilled sun dried tomatoes is £4.19 compared with £2.65 for Tesco’s 225g own brand. Sainsbury’s sells 145g of “intense marinated anchovies” for £3; at Trevaskis, 110g of anchovies in sunflower oil is £5.45.

The shop sells pasta for £2.49 The shop sells pasta for £2.49

Mr Eustice worked on the farm before entering politics, rising to become David Cameron ’s press secretary when the Tories were in opposition.

He was elected MP for Camborne and Redruth in 2010 before being elevated to the Cabinet in February 2020.

Today, the minister claimed hard-up families should switch to supermarket value brands to survive the cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Eustice urged cash-strapped households to buy cheaper products.

He also gaffed when he called a 77-year-old council house-dwelling widow named Elsie, “Elsa”. Elsie told ITV she rode on a bus all day to avoid heating her home.

Tesco sells tagliatelle for 75p Tesco sells tagliatelle for 75p

Mr Eustice told Sky News: “What would my advice be to Elsa (sic)?

“Well, my advice would be that, you know, not to stay on a bus all day to try and stay warm.

“My advice would be to seek some support from the local authority.”

Privately-educated Mr Eustice, who attended fee-paying Truro School in Cornwall - where parents of day pupils splash £15,585 a year on their child’s education - carried on dispensing advice on how struggling households could weather the storm.

“We have a very, very competitive retail market with 10 big supermarkets and the four main ones competing very aggressively, particularly on some of the lower-cost, everyday value items for households, so things like spaghetti and ambient products - there’s a lot of competition to keep those prices down,” he urged.

Susanna Reid interviewed Prime Minister Boris Johnson on GMB on Tuesday Susanna Reid interviewed Prime Minister Boris Johnson on GMB on Tuesday (

“Generally speaking, what people find is by going for some of the value brands rather than own-branded products - they can actually contain and manage their household budget.”

Boris Johnson swerved saying whether he agreed with the Environment Secretary that families should buy value products.

Speaking at Southampton Airport, the Prime Minister claimed: “What we want to do is help people in any way that we can through the aftershocks of Covid.

“What you’ve got is inflationary spikes, mainly in energy, but that’s knocking on into all sorts of other costs for people, for families.”

Keir Starmer Keir Starmer said Tories are out of touch (

On the campaign trail in Wakefield, West Yorks, Labour leader Keir Starmer fumed: “Everybody is talking about the fact they can’t pay their bills, and what’s the Prime Minister got to say about that?

“He was told yesterday about a pensioner who rides the buses to keep warm and his response was to say she should be happy she’s got a bus pass.

“This morning I heard a Government minister saying that people should not buy branded food in order to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

“Talk about out of touch, out of ideas, out of excuses.”

Shadow Treasury Chief Secretary Pat McFadden fumed: “This is woefully out of touch from a Government with no solution to the cost-of-living crisis facing working people.

“People are seeing their wages fall, fuel and food costs rise, and families are worried about how to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the Government to get real help to people rather than comments that simply expose how little they understand about the real struggles people are facing to pay their bills.”

The Lib Dems also piled into the row.

The party’s work and pensions spokeswoman Wendy Chamberlain said: “These comments show George Eustice and the Conservatives are living in a parallel universe.

“Families and pensioners who can’t afford their weekly shop need more help, not patronising advice from a clueless minister.

“This is the stark reality of Boris Johnson’s Britain.”

The cost of food is going up The cost of food is going up (
Getty Images)

The Scottish nationalists’ deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald said: “The remarks from a senior Tory Government minister that families struggling with the Tory-made cost-of-living crisis should buy value brand products are utterly patronising and insulting.

“The Tories have once again shown how out of touch they are with the challenges facing households - with rising prices and bills piling on the pressure and pushing people over the brink.

“Rather than bringing forward meaningful financial measures to help support families and to put money into people’s pockets, the Tory Government is instead sitting on its hands and resorting to treating people with contempt.”

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Martin Lewis slams 'value brand' minister's 'patronising' cost of living advice


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