The Red Tractor assurance scheme is failing to make an impact because of a lack of advertising, according to Ed Garner of food retailing data company Kantar Worldpanel.
Answering a question from a producer at the 2013 JSR Farming Conference at York on September 10, Mr Garner agreed that the Red Tractor scheme lacked awareness among consumers.
“Of all the marks that are used on packaging, the only one that consumers understand is Fairtrade,” he said. “There has been no heavyweight advertising to tell them what Red Tractor is all about.”
Mr Garner also said that it was not surprising that Sainsbury’s had removed the Red Tractor mark from its packaging.
“They dropped Red Tractor because they didn’t need it on the packs when the Sainsbury’s name is enough,” he added. “They want to promote Sainsbury’s, not Red Tractor, because that differentiates the product from competitors.”
Mr Garner’s opinion was backed up by Cranswick sales and marketing director Jim Brisby.
“We were close to Sainsbury’s when the decision was made,” he said. “The unfortunate truth was that consumer perception of Red Tractor wasn’t strong enough to keep it on the packs; it’s not recognised or understood.”