The FSA's announcement of a "significant review" of food assurance schemes has brought protests from retailers and manufacturers that they are vital for customer confidence. Assurance schemes across the industry, from the Lion brand on eggs to the British Farm Standard mark ­ the little red tractor ­ will be re-evaluated as the FSA consults with stakeholders to ask them to work together and ditch superfluous initiatives. The FSA has announced the review as part of its submission to Sir Don Curry's Commission on the Future of Farming and Food after research revealed low recognition of assurance schemes. The agency also wants to address concerns that overlapping schemes lead to higher prices, restricting the access of poorer consumers to "affordable, nutritious food". Results of the review will be out "quite quickly", perhaps as early as next summer, but the FSA has no powers to force producers' hands. FSA chairman Sir John Krebs said: "Industry assurance schemes have a role in promoting consumer choice in the market, but it is essential that this choice is both clear and meaningful. We want more truth, less hype." Although industry bodies including the NFU, Tesco and the Soil Association broadly welcomed the review, they said customers needed reassurance about quality. The NFU said: "British farmers have spent a lot of time and effort developing farm assurance schemes to meet the demands of society for increased guarantees about their food at no extra cost to shoppers." The FSA argues that in the case of the little red tractor, the NFU has simply drawn together schemes under one umbrella. But it claims separate schemes are still being run with costs being passed on to the consumer. British Egg Industry Council chairman Andrew Parker said: "The British Lion Scheme, which has combined the highest food safety standards and effective consumer communication, has seen sales rise." {{NEWS }}