Jack's fresh herbs

Jack’s: make or break?

Sir, The strategic motivations behind the Jack’s branding decision are becoming increasingly clear. By giving a nod to its heritage, Tesco is making a concerted effort to differentiate Jack’s from the German discounters.

It will be interesting to see how much more of the Tesco brand is reflected in the new stores. Getting the balance right will be vital if the new companion brand is to succeed. If Jack’s is too different, it will have a tough job becoming established in the market. On the other hand, a brand too close to Tesco’s core runs the risk of cannibalisation of current sales.

There’s no doubt Tesco has the resources, knowledge, marketing team and supplier base to make it a success logistically, but the UK consumer can be fickle and they will ultimately decide whether the venture is a success.

Mark Dodds, chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Food, Drink and Agriculture Committee

AI vs human intelligence

Sir, I read your article ‘Future Farming’ with interest. While robots and AI definitely have a role to play in overcoming the constantly evolving challenges facing global agriculture, I also want to advocate for the continuing value of HI - human intelligence.

In an age where people take a tech-first approach to problem solving, I’d argue that by doing so we miss out on the power of human intelligence that defines and shapes local innovation. The knowledge held by small-scale farmers around the globe is irreplaceable and must be preserved at all costs.

Kenny Ewan, CEO, Wefarm

Celebrate the Seed Fund

Sir, Sometimes I feel the letters page can be a little downbeat, so I wanted to take a minute to celebrate the work of the Seed Fund.

Firstly to declare my hand, I have no ties outside ‘admiring it from afar’ and knowing a handful of brands who have sought (and loved) its support.

What I like about the Seed Fund is that its currency is mentoring, acquired wisdom, straight-talking and unadulterated enthusiasm - not simple finance.

This is an academy that provides the perfect setting to share ideas, successes and equally illuminating set-backs, an informal huddle with a team of industry experts, foodpreneurs and a handy private equity wise owl.

Seed Fund hosts all manner of talks, events and gatherings with an agenda that encapsulates every imaginable topic. It even includes the odd industry visit and some fabulous guest speakers.

Wise counsel has never felt so touchy-feely and sincere!

Ian Hills, founder, Purple Pilchard