Welfare regression

Sir, Your article ‘Defra animal rights u-turn has caused wounds that’ll take a long time to heal,’ (, 11 April) about Defra’s u-turn on animal welfare guidance is one of the few balanced pieces we’ve seen. Rampant speculation by many stakeholders, followed by kneejerk reaction by government, has destroyed the opportunity to bring essential guidance up to date with current understanding. We had the chance to deliver ‘expert-led’ guidance. Moreover, ours was a commitment to review the guidance as and when new science emerges. Others may backtrack on welfare, but the British poultry sector does not.

Máire Burnett, agricultural technical manager, British Poultry Council

A giant hen, Asda…?

Sir, Asda’s new marketing boss, Andy Murray, has indeed landed with the swift appointment of new media and advertising agencies this week (‘Asda switches £95m ad account to Saatchi & Saatchi,’, 12 April). Asda, always one of the biggest TV spenders, has struggled of late to get its message across and the bizarre giant hen campaign for Easter seems to have been a bit of a turkey. The strategy of moving away from bold price-led communications has been a real mystery to many and it feels like Asda’s marketing team forgot what shoppers like to see from the retailer. So let’s hope for less clucking about and loads more pocket tapping.

Catherine Shuttleworth, CEO, Savvy

Down on fictional farms

Sir, It’s perfectly obvious that by labelling a product with the name of a fictional farm that a consumer will be misled to believe that the produce is from that ‘farm’ (‘Farms range provenance is very very clear says Davies,’ 2 April, p14). How is the consumer meant to distinguish between genuinely labelled products named after farms and the spurious Tesco ‘farms’?

Angus Cameron, Cambrook Foods

NLW will drive efficiency

Sir, Despite its critics, the national living wage could be the catalyst that forces retailers in the UK to become more operationally efficient (‘Can indies afford to pay the national living wage?’ 9 April, p24). It’s likely to result in more businesses looking at streamlining operations.

Neville Payne, VP merchandise availability solutions, Checkpoint Systems UK