11 April 2000
The NFU kitemark — your verdict
The NFU kitemark – your verdict
TONY BLAIR launched a new £2 million kitemark (pictured) to promote British food at the Downing Street summit with farmers leaders on 30 March.
It shows a red tractor with blue wheels on a white background with the words “British Farm Standard” written underneath.
Here are reactions to the kitemark from FWi readers:
I THINK the logo is a complete balls-up and the NFU (No F***** Use) should have consulted members over it.
I have not spoken to anyone who thinks its anything other
than a joke. It is not red, white and blue – it is blue and orange. It is not distinctive – it is pathetic.
I really think this is the end as far as I am concerned. After this fiasco, I will not be renewing my subs to support a bunch of wallies who are conned into believing that this will do anything except sink without trace.
I certainly will not let any of my products wear such crap.
Michael Pinard (ex-NFU member as from September 2000), South Godstone, Surrey
I THINK its perfect! Everyone will think the produce is French or foreign because of the F and avoid it like the plague.
Entirely accurate – GB Choice is the label to look for if you want British.
Birgit Cunningham, South Kensington, London
FOR a long time the top people in the NFU have been out of touch with farmers and have made a lot of extra work for us without more pay.
The kitemark is more about people geting OBEs and pleasing Tony Blair than farming.
They should get behind Farmers For Action.
THE logo is a feebly weak brand and does nothing to promote either Britishness nor livestock farming.
It will do more to drive the regions like Wales and Scotland to use their regional brands, which are much stronger.
It is fine for us in Wales – we can ignore it and use the Dragon. But it does not help beef producers on the Essex coast or sheep farmers on the Lincolnshire Wolds, and it does not help promote UK agriculture.
I thought the N in NFU stood for National.
The logo was designed in a town by townies and will not sell anything to anybody.
prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for Conwy
ITS happened again! The consumer is seeing another confusing, meaningless and desperate marketing attempt to help them buy British food and promote British food.
The consumer is already bombarded with farm-assured schemes that are supposed to ensure a certain standard of quality for them. I dont believe they work as well as they should as none of the consumers really understand what the assurance logo is saying.
So why should the worlds most expensive drawing of a tractor say to the public Yes! Its British, Yes! Its of a high quality and Yes! Its supporting your farmer?
If this type of campaign is going to continue, organisations like the NFU need to follow them up with a strong marketing campaigns that tell the consumer what they logo is supposedly saying.
I personally believe that this sort of promotion is not a new and fresh campaigning idea, but one whose impact is diluted the more are introduced.
Vanessa Brooks, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
COMPLETELY useless, and pointless. Just write down British traceable quality meat on the packaging, but please make sure it was born, reared and slaughtered in Britain.
Samuel Rawling, Cleator, Cumbria
IS it significant that the F is lying on its back facing upward? Could it mean it is a complete F!!*-up?
I DONT like the logo, but I am encouraged that farmers think the logo is so bad.
It is not targeted at farmers, who represent a very small section of consumers. I assume NFU researched this with representative consumer groups.
It would mean more if it represented a common assurance standard across all commodities.
David Graham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire
IM glad they told me what it was! It meant nothing at all on first seeing it; I cannot believe that this cost £2,000,000.
What a waste of money.
I`m sure the public will be as confused as the rest of us on seeing it. Perhaps they will think it`s a sign for kiddies grub.
Sad isnt it?!
Cathy Aynsley, Hallington, Northumberland
ITS a shame we keep putting our trust in the NFU – as in the logo – and again they disappoint us.
A three-year-old could do better. I think the suggestion of Blue Peter trying is a good one – it would have cost nothing like £2,000,000, just the cost of a few prizes and the actual printing.
Sad isnt it?!
Deborah Chave, Cullompton, Devon
PERHAPS the reason the NFU has not used the Union Jack is that, as I understand it, the logo can be used by any food, British or foreign, that is produced to the British standard (Foreign food eligible for UK kitemark, FWi, 17 March, 2000).
If this is the case, then the whole idea should be scrapped – it is a total disgrace.
HAVING read all these negative comments about the logo, which we whole-heartily agree with, can we just say one thing … log on to our website, www.gbchoice.co.uk, look at our logo and tell us what you think!
It was offered to the NFU, but they were spending £2 million coming up with something better.
Justine Picken, East Chinnock, Somerset
TALKING to despondent farming friends last week while on holiday, the last thing they need is a symbol such as you have now to promote British farming.
Im glad to be able to return to Canada, where a more positive appoach is followed.
Nigel Knight, Alberta, Canada
THE NFU kitemark symbol has lost its way since it is not immediately obvious – an alternative might be the Union Jack with overlayed large Q (for quality) and an overlayed large tick.
It is crucial that the shopper will instantly relate to it – unlike Farm Assured which is not understood at all by the shopper.
PJ Grigg, Congleton, Cheshire
JOHN FORD of the NFU thinks that they and their expensive consultants have produced a logo which is a success, and instantly communicates.
To me, the British Farm Standard and the design instantly communicated a picture of the old Standard Fordson tractor. This instantly communicated to me the old saying that you will never get to heaven in an old Ford car because
an old Ford car wont go that far.
I dont think the new logo will get that far either.
Patrick Hughes, Saffron Walden, Essex
SO, the new British Farm Standard logo cost £2,000,000. Well, whoever authorised payment for it should be strung up by his what-steers-dont-have.
Heres one I knocked up in less than five minutes which flies the flag and cost absolutely nothing.
Peter Johnston, Chichester, West Sussex
UNFORTUNATELY, the general view that the logo is not up to much is right. It does look uncannily like a funeral.
However, if we think that the F on its back signifies a French surrender over beef, then maybe it is not so
bad after all.
OK, but it should have the Union Jack symbol on the tractor instead of just the red block of colour.
Why not extend the charter mark as found on British bacon?
Ben Gill would do well to get the Rev. Blair to spend his holidays in the UK and extol the virtues of our food, rather than sun-dried tomatoes and other foreign goods.
I cannot believe the general public will buy goods with this rather pathetic and I expect very expensive logo.
Bill Harbour, Faversham, Kent
I THINK that the logo needs to be more British.
It needs to include a Union Jack to specify to the public that it is actually of British origin, otherwise they will get confused, and those outside the farming industry keen to support us may be put off.
Liz Lacey, Marlow, Buckinghamshire
IT ought to have the Union Jack on to represent Britain.
I always buy British, but I think the new logo looks childlike and the colours are very French-looking, not outstanding like the Union Jack.
Steve Sant, Hanchurch, Staffordshire
LOOKS French to me, too! I definitely wouldnt have recognised the logo as a tractor!
Alison Nolan, Tarporley, Cheshire
THE logo is a disaster. There is nothing about it that suggests “Britishness”.
Marcus Findlay, Dunbar, Lothian
AFTER all this time and money, this is what someone has been paid to come up with! God help us.
Three years ago, the NFU took away the tractor from their logo; theyve now bought back a toy version of one.
Perhaps we are all just one big game.
Richard Haddock, Kingswear, Devon
A CLASS of ten-year-olds could have done better than this – it certainly does not conjure up images of the British countryside and high-quality food.
Carol Trewin, Farming Editor, Western Morning News, Plymouth
RATHER than promoting UK/British produce, they should be support for promoting regional, county or local produce.
This way consumers can support local farmers and businesses; help to reduce food miles; and support wildlife-friendly farming practices.
Hannah Bartram, RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire
I THINK we are in danger of missing the point. A logo only works if it grabs the consumers attention – and instantly communicates – in what is a very visually “noisy” shopping environment.
The British Farm Standard logo – love it or loathe it – is striking in its simplicity.
The design consultants who developed it were keen to make it an image that could not be ignored. If this forum is anything to go by – theyve succeeded.
John Ford, NFU
WHAT did this cost? What on earth is it and how could anyone associate this with British agriculture?
PATHETIC. Please, please, please change to a Union Jack in the shape of a tick.
Andrew Smith, Louth, Lincolnshire
WITHOUT being totally negative, the logo is poorly thought out and does have a definite French feel to it.
Some quick thinking is required to come up with a more appropriate label!
YET another example of the NFU being hoodwinked by Blair – too much coffee and too many photo calls to boost our representatives egos.
He does not care two hoots for British agriculture and the NFU have played into his sweaty palm by thinking that this is going to do anything more than promote Blair as a caring, informed prime minister.
Simon McCowen, Bighton, Hampshire