Tesco has revamped its tea range and become the first supermarket to sell own-label Rainforest Alliance-certified tea.

The retailer said it was confident the Rainforest Alliance badge, which sets standards for environmental and worker protection, would help it grow sales.

“Consumers have a high-quality alternative to the national brands that they can save money on, safe in the knowledge that the tea is sourced from farms that have sound sustainability practices,” said Tesco tea buyer Tom Edwards.

Rainforest Alliance certification had become common among branded teas - including PG Tips and Tetley - but Tesco’s was the first own-label range, he added.

The teas were tweaked to deliver “an extremely full-bodied and nicely rounded drink”.

And the 12-strong range - including a decaf blend - will also change its name from Quality Tea to Original, while the packaging will include a picture of a cuppa and a darker red backdrop.

Tesco will initially source 30% of the tea for the range from Rainforest Alliance tea estates, rising to 100% by 2018 as more certified tea becomes available.

“We are delighted Tesco is proving you don’t need to buy brands or premium products to purchase sustainably produced products,” said a Rainforest Alliance spokesperson.

The tie-up with the Rainforest Alliance comes as Asda downplayed the role of Fairtrade, claiming it was less important than local sourcing.