Sir: Each year I read with interest your table of Britain’s 100 biggest brands and yet each year it brings disappointment with no mention of any fresh produce brands (The Grocer, 22 March).

Am I upset? Well yes, because you see fit to include something like three fizzy and no doubt full-of-sugar drinks, three snack foods, six different chocolate bars, two ice creams and two pizzas. So 16% of your top 100 brands are what some might describe as foods bordering on the unhealthy.

Yet the Pink Lady brand, which is the third-biggest selling apple by value after Gala and Braeburn, has never had a mention.

In 2013, we sold a total of 44,479,014 kilos of Pink Lady apples, which, according to the latest information from Kantar, has an average price of 294p per kilo. Multiplying one against the other shows that for apples alone the brand at retail is worth £130m.

Add into that Pink Lady apple juice, Pink Lady apple snacks/slices, and even Pink Lady iced lollies, we are looking at a brand value of around £140m.

This should see Pink Lady as number 58 on your top 100 list and it is, of course, also a very healthy food. Similarly our sales of Tenderstem in 2013 were 5,004,840 kilos and, again, the latest information from Kantar shows an average price of £8.16 per kilo. That equates to a total retail value of £40m, so it may not be too long, with sales increasing at 25% per year, that it too could squeeze into your top 100.

So, how about looking at some fresh produce brands and including them in your list?

Andy Macdonald, MD, Coregeo

The Editor writes: This is a great idea - we’ll look into it!

Real victims of price war

Sir: Morrisons’ announcement it was entering the price war must have sent a shudder down the back of the FD of every supplier to the struggling retailer (‘Is this the big price war we have all been waiting for?’ 22 March, p14).

While undoubtedly the margins of Morrisons and Tesco et al will be under threat, it is (as we all know) the suppliers who will face the greatest pressure to trim their margins, either by moving to a permanently lower selling price or through a deeper level of discount on promotional activity.

In each scenario, suppliers are unlikely to be able to cut their costs of goods to compensate for the drop of margin – COGS having faced huge inflationary pressure in recent years – so savings will have to be found in other areas.

Trade audits Intelliprice has undertaken suggest efficiencies can still be found in promotional spend; 40% of promotions either lose money for the supplier or fail to deliver incremental profit, yet most suppliers still inexplicably fail to regularly evaluate incremental profitability and ROI of their promotions once completed.

Trade investment spend is one area where most consumer goods companies can help their margins. The smarter players are doing just that, investing in systems and specialists that can deliver those efficiencies.

Andrew Mallinson, director, Intelliprice

Get chain waste right first

Sir: Allowing online shoppers to donate half their bogof to charity is an attractive idea (‘The kids are alright,’ 22 March, p48). But while the concept is simple, execution is not. Most food waste occurs further up the supply chain and there are still 300,000-400,000 tonnes of good quality surplus food going to waste. Some major retailers already have consistent processes to ensure surplus food is diverted to charities.

FareShare has made progress with Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and their suppliers in the last year, leading to a 30% increase in the amount of food we receive. Our processes guarantee the food sent to us is safely redistributed to over 1,200 charities. We’re still only accessing 1.5% of the surplus food available. We need the industry to focus on embedding processes to redistribute these surpluses and get that right before investing in new models.

Mark Varney, director of food, FareShare

EC threat to organic

Sir: Regarding your article ‘Organic farmers must ditch all conventional production, says EC’ (, 26 March), we agree with the Soil Association and NFU that phasing out mixed farms is unnecessary in the UK and may actually discourage entrants to organic.

Demand for organic food is high with volume sales now in growth. If these new rules are enforced, many in the supply chain will have to resort to importing organic.

Buying organic is an assurance that food has been produced under strict, legally enforced standards. Whether purely organic or from a mixed farm, organic farmers must adhere to them. Forcing mixed farms to choose between organic and conventional will be detrimental to the organic industry.

Catherine Fookes, campaign manager, Organic Trade Board