The NFU's controversial British Farm Standard mark is set to be a powerful weapon when the agrifood sector returns to normal after the foot and mouth crisis. It has recently received a massive boost with the news that Tesco has become the second multiple to introduce it on fresh milk, following the lead set by Sainsbury in February. And the NFU is in talks with leading food manufacturers to extend the use of the red tractor symbol on more processed foods during the next months. A spokesman told The Grocer: "The tractor is already being used on 1,500 product lines ­ including items like pies. Dialogue with manufacturers and retailers for further development is ongoing." The union also plans a heavy consumer promotional campaign to mark the first birthday of the symbol in June. It will launch a little red tractor web site, set up children's competitions and distribute recipe leaflets. But a red tractor birthday roadshow, scheduled to call at supermarkets around the country, has been put on hold because of the fmd crisis. The tour will now wait for MAFF's go-ahead to set off. And a conference promoting debate about brand management among assured farmers has also been delayed. A spokesman said: "FMD has raised awareness in consumers of food production methods. The tractor can become a guiding light which gives the assurance the food is produced to exacting animal welfare, environmental and food hygiene standards, all independently verified." {{NEWS }}

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