Sainsbury’s Red Tractor move is a wake-up call, Eblex says
Sainsbury’s decision to drop the Red Tractor logo from its labelling should serve as a wake-up call to the entire industry, according to leaders at Eblex.
Speaking at the levy body’s annual conference Eblex chairman John Cross said: “I do think industry should take it as a serious wake-up call and look hard at why that has happened.”
Nick Allen, Eblex director, added he did not think that Sainsbury’s had fully understood the impact of its decision.
He said that assurance schemes themselves did not make people buy the product, but that the concept gave customers the confidence in the products they were buying: “While it should be a wake-up call to industry, with that decision, I don’t think the technical side in Sainsbury’s really understood what they were doing. And industry itself perhaps needs to understand why it went down the path of assurance schemes in the first place.”
When asked if Assured Food Standards (AFS), the body behind Red Tractor, was losing its way, Cross said the scheme still had an important role to play: “I still believe Red Tractor is of immense value – there’s a good food story around British agriculture and the logo is not only a powerful differentiator, but a great symbol for that story. But perhaps it does need a refresh. I just think its message needs evolving, nothing can stand still.”
He played down suggestions that Eblex was replicating the Red Tractor scheme with the use of its own Quality Standard. “We work with AFS to avoid duplication,” he said.
Allen also defended Eblex’s involvement with the AFS and Red Tractor: “This sector can hold its head up about the level of support we give to the Red Tractor, we’re the biggest supporter within the wider industry. I would challenge other sectors to do their bit.”
- meat industry
- red tractor
- john cross
- levy bodies
- Eblex annual conference
- assurance schemes
- Assured Food Standards
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