A growing international trend towards mandatory front of pack eco-labelling has created fears in the industry that the UK may follow suit.

Carrefour championed a new law in France insisting on the labels as part of a raft eco-measures. Brazil, Denmark and South Africa are now considering similar plans. A leading UK sustainability expert said companies here were now “living in terror” the labels would be introduced here because of the huge workload it would involve.

Tesco revealed in January it was ending its labelling scheme with the Carbon Trust and switching its focus to the supply chain. It said it took months at a time to footprint a product.