TFA chairman James Gray said the branding was ’designed to confuse’ consumers
Asda’s relaunch of its ‘Farm Stores’ brand ‘feels like a kick in the teeth’ to producers, according to Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) chairman James Gray.
Asda has rebranded some ‘Smart Price’ fresh products, including meat, fruit and vegetables as ’Farm Stores’. It follows controversy last year when Tesco launched a range of products with fictional farm names.
TFA chairman James Gray said: “For average producers it undermines their confidence in the market place.”
He said looking at the promotional material, it showed a ‘very English looking’ farm on the branding.
“It is designed to confuse, it is constructed ambiguity. It does not give the consumer any clarity and can only act to the detriment of things such as red tractor,” he said.
NFU chief food chain adviser Ruth Mason said: “Over the past few years we have seen retailers rebrand some of their own brand product ranges.
“Although such re-brands can drive an uplift in sales, in our view, it is important that product names and descriptions are clear, accurate and do not mislead consumers.
“With Asda now using the term ’farm’ within its branding, it is imperative that the origin of these products is clear to customers.”
An Asda spokesman said: “We know how important quality produce at a great price is to our customers.
“We are reconnecting with our heritage by bringing back the Farm Stores brand to Asda – a name that our customers remember and trust for great value, quality produce.
“Our products are clearly labelled with their country of origin.”
But Mr Gray asked why it was using branding to make it look like an English farm, if it was sufficiently clear where it came from.
“There are plenty of others things they can use.”