The UK’s onerous carbon footprinting policy could put overseas producers off supplying the country, a report by the US Department of Agriculture has warned.

“The UK food industry has a history of adopting schemes that go beyond what is legally required, creating a market where suppliers must comply with private standards,” the report said.

The claim comes in the wake of BSI British Standards’ publication last October of PAS 2050, which provides a method of assessing the greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services. The standard is voluntary, but USDA fears supermarkets may adopt it to enhance their corporate images.

US suppliers could struggle to meet data requests from its UK customers, warned the report, adding that the new standard could also lead to products being delisted if their carbon footprints did not meet the strict criteria.