The NFU has rejected industry criticism its new British farm assurance mark is "just another symbol to add to the plethora already in the trade". Given a high profile launch by Tony Blair at his farm crisis meeting in Downing Street on Thursday, the new red and blue tractor logo will be in the shops in May. Although some traders have complained there are too many quality marks on home produce, the NFU spokesperson said it was planned for the mark ultimately to pull together existing marks under one all embracing symbol. Backed immediately by Asda, Safeway, Sainsbury and Tesco, it will initially feature on a range of products from meat to fruit and veg. Speaking at the end of the Downing Street meeting NFU president Ben Gill said the mark would transform the way people thought about British food by setting clear production standards. Sainsbury group chief executive Sir Peter Davis told The Grocer:"We fully support the NFU and have long recognised the need for a uniform and industry wide standard to make it clear to customers which products are British." The mark will be protected by trademark and its use on retail packs will be controlled through a system of licences and sub licences which will be controlled by the British Farm Standard Council. Standards will be underpinned by Assured British Meat (ABM), the company which has already created a continuous chain of assurance for the meat industry and is now widening its remit to cover standards on all food products. {{NEWS }}