The future of the National Farmers' Union's little red tractor mark depends on the whole food chain stumping up the funds to back it, according to its operator Assured Food Standards. The Food Standards Agency's review of food assurance logos, published this week, says consumers are not sure what the little red tractor means. David Clarke, chief executive of Assured Food Standards, stressed the FSA and the British Retail Consortium were already involved in consultations about developing the mark. Shortage of funds to publicise and develop the logo have been identified as the the main problem. The mark is run with funding from NFU, the MLC and additional retailer contributions. Clarke said: "We hope the government will come up with some money for the tractor. But we also need a shift from the primary sector to the whole food chain. Currently food packers, producers and suppliers pay a licence fee, but we want everyone using the logo to be licensed." NFU head of food health and science department Stephen Rossides said: "Maybe we can ask supermarkets to pay a licence fee per instore butchery which sells tractor products, rather than the current block fee. "The whole food chain has to dig deep as the tractor needs to be put on a more secure financial footing." Environment standards and management were also being addressed as the scheme is reviewed. l See FSA review, p36 {{NEWS }}