Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has come under fire after announcing it is to ditch the Red Tractor logo from its products.
The move will affect the retailer’s own-label meat, poultry, dairy and fresh produce lines and is being introduced because it says consumers are confused by the variety of logos that adorn packets.
The supermarket added that all its British-sourced products met the Red Tractor standards anyway.
However, a spokeswoman for Red Tractor said it was “deeply disappointed” by Sainsbury’s decision.
The pork industry is encouraging consumers to buy bacon and sausages bearing the logo to provide pig farmers with much-needed support as they struggle with soaring overheads.
NFU director of corporate affairs Tom Hind said: “This is extremely disappointing news to farmers who take pride in the Red Tractor logo as a mark of the good standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and traceability to which they produce. Products bearing the logo help reassure consumers that what they are buying has been independently inspected to accredited standards from farm to fork.
“The Red Tractor now appears on £12bn worth of retail sales each year, making it the most widely used assurance logo within the UK market. It is the benchmark that many consumers actively look for when deciding what to buy.”
Meanwhile Tesco responded to the announcement by reaffirming its commitment to the Red Tractor Scheme.
The Red Tractor signifies that products have been farmed and produced at high animal welfare standards.