13 June 2001
Tractor logo celebrates first birthday

By Alistair Driver

NEARLY one in three shoppers now recognises the Little Red Tractor logo which promotes British food, according to the National Farmers Union.

The finding came in a survey which the NFU published as it launched a website to mark the first anniversary of the logo on Wednesday (13 June).

Of people who recognised the mark, nearly 60% understood it to be British farm produce. One in three understood it meant that food was of high quality.

A union report on the survey acknowledged that more needs to be done to ensure public recognition of the logo and what it stands for.

But NFU president Ben Gill said: “After the living hell of recent times, the red tractor is a symbol of hope and pride for farmers.”

The mark has had the greatest impact on higher-income shoppers, according to the survey, conducted by Taylor, Nelson Soffres.

Some 60% of ABC1 shoppers were more likely to buy food that carried it.

Focus group studies found that those people were keener to know how animals are reared and how vegetables are grown, and felt closer to farming.

In contrast, poorer shoppers were more likely to be influenced by price, did not feel close to farming and often felt detached from the source of their food.

The logo has had the greatest impact in the south of England, where it is recognised by 60% of shoppers, and central England (50%).

It is applied to home-produced, farm-assured produce to highlight exacting environmental, hygiene and welfare standards.

It is found on beef, lamb, chicken, pork, vegetables, fruit and salads on 550 product lines from supermarkets to cornershops nationwide, the union said.

Many retailers are working to extend the range of products that carry the mark. Tesco claims to sell 250 million-worth of logo-marked chicken each year.

Sainsburys sells 8.5 million products bearing the logo each week. Half of the supermarket chains customers said the symbol was important.

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