Asda chairman dismisses switch to imperial units as ‘nonsense’

Asda chairman Lord Rose warned the government’s consultation to revert to imperial units to honour the the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was “complete and utter nonsense”.

Speaking on Times Radio, Lord Rose claimed the move would be “backwards”, and would cost an unnecessary amount of money.

The Big 4 grocer’s boss added it that switching units from metric measurement to imperial units in such as pounds and ounces would only please a “small minority who work hard from the past”.

READ MORE: Returning to imperial units could see food prices rise, BRC warns

The government’s decision to reintroduced imperial units hopes to strategically appeal to Brexit voters in seats the Conservatives in danger of losing.

From 2000, traders under the EU have had to legally use metric units for sale by weight or measure for fresh produce – which has been a recurring issue for Eurosceptics.

While the government in unlikely to completely scrap metric units, shops may have to replace certain measurements with imperial units.

“The only polite word I can think of for your programme is, I’ve never heard such nonsense in my life,” Lord Rose said on Times Radio.

“I mean, we have got serious problems in the world and we’re now saying let’s go backwards. Does anybody in this country below the age of about 40 know how many ounces there are in a pound?”

He added: “We’re doing it just to actually please a small minority of people who hark for the past. It’s complete and utter nonsense and it will add cost to those people who have to put it into place.”

The consultation, coordinated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is discussing whether or not to allow trades to choose how to price fresh produce – by pounds or grams.

Currently, its legal to price goods imperial units, but as a standard they must be stated alongside the price in grams and kilograms.

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