Often prepared meals did not carry the Red Tractor label

Often prepared meals did not carry the Red Tractor label

UK certification body Red Tractor has launched a logo it hopes will provide further assurances over the quality, traceability and provenance of the meat in products like ready meals.

The new "Made with" logo can be adapted for all proteins such as beef, poultry, lamb or pork. Its development is said to have been given extra impetus following the horsemeat saga of last year.

Until now, while the Red Tractor logo has been seen on many products, there has not been a logo for use on more complicated products like ready meals and pies, where the meat element makes up a smaller proportion of the total meal.

Richard Cattell, head of communications and marketing at Red Tractor Assurance, said: "An IGD survey commissioned by Red Tractor Assurance in 2013 revealed that 52% of consumers would be more likely to buy if it was labelled with the new Red Tractor logo. This represents a significant development for retailers and manufacturers and means the Red Tractor logo is truly fit for purpose."

The ‘Made with' claim should be made about the meat or poultry element of the meal. In order to make the claim, 100% of the meat or poultry in the product must be Red Tractor Assured. It is not acceptable to state "Made with Red Tractor Assured Chicken" if only a proportion of the chicken meets the claim. Where the product contains more than one meat or poultry component, all of the meat and poultry elements must be 100% Red Tractor Assured.

During February and March, Asda customers will start to see the new ‘Made With' logo on chilled beef ready meals, including spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and cottage pie.

Ade McKeon, Asda brand director, said: "Our customers tell us that it's important for them to know exactly where their food comes from so we're delighted that from February 2014 we will be the first retailer to have the Red Tractor stamp of approval on all our chilled beef ready meals.

Meurig Raymond, deputy president for the National Farmers Union, added: "I am delighted that with the development of the new 'Made with' Red Tractor logo there are even more opportunities to highlight the British sourced assured ingredients that our members work so hard to supply to consumers."