The cooking oils group, which supplies about 30 per cent of the UK edible food oils market under the Pura name, has filed a lawsuit against Shell for trademark infringement. "I believe it is another example of a multi- national riding rough shod over the rights of a smaller company," said Jim Weir, Pura Foods managing director.
"It clearly has caused damage to the image and reputation of Pura cooking oils, for them to be bracketed in the minds of the public with diesel oil," he said.
Pura, which is being advised by City solicitors Eversheds, says it is confident of victory in the case.
Industry sources said that Shell had already spent millions marketing its new diesel.
A Shell spokesman said: "We have a registered trademark for Shell Pura Diesel and have received no complaints from the public in this regard."