6 July 2000
Now Tesco under fire over farm logo

By FWi staff

TESCO, Britains biggest supermarket chain, faces criticism for its apparent reluctance to use the British Farm Standard logo on its food at the RoyalShow.

Farmers complained to Tesco staff, saying it was wrong that the logo was not used to promote some British produce on the retailers stand at Stoneleigh.

The other big three retailers, Sainsburys, Asda and Safeway, all displayed products carrying the British logo on their stands – sometimes too eagerly.

Sainsburys was forced to apologise to farmers following a blunder that led to a packet of New Zealand lamb on its stand being mistakenly labelled British.

But the logo is currently only displayed on Tescos chicken products, because some of Tescos suppliers are accredited under a different, ineligible initiative.

The supermarkets own Natures Choice farm assurance scheme is not yet accredited under the logo scheme, explained a spokesman for the retailer.

However, the tractor logo will begin to have a greater presence in Tesco stores after paperwork is completed “in the next few weeks”, he promised.

Tesco is waiting until all producers supplying a particular line are fully accredited under the British Farm Standard before it uses the logo.

“The logo is going to be incorporated into the packaging of Tesco products so we cannot put the label on some produce and not others in a particular line,” he said.

Tesco claims that its Natures Choice scheme goes further than the British Farm Standard in guaranteeing minimum environmental requirements for food.

The retailer has also launched a 800,000 initiative for local farmers in a bid to treble the Tesco Locally Grown range to over 2100 lines.

In England, labels will show which county products are from, with some featuring the name of the actual farm where the produce was grown or reared.

A cross of St Andrew will be used in Scotland, and Welsh producers will see their produce labelled with an emblem of Wales.