Sir; Advertising ‘guru’ Andrew Jolliffe makes no sense in his Saturday Essay of February 25.
Handing promotion of British food to the NFU would be unwise. Firstly, not all levy-payers are in the NFU and so pumping millions into a body with its own big problems in marketing and communications is unlikely to find favour with all.
Secondly, he overestimates the Red Tractor’s worth. Its appearance on £5bn of food is misleading, as it reflects the value of product, not that added by the mark. Yes, it is safe and traceable. But show me supermarket food that isn’t. No wonder consumers are confused!
Jolliffe says most don’t care whether food is British or not, so why emphasise the Red Tractor’s British origin if consumers are driven by quality and price? Perhaps because UK producers are not price-competitive globally and the mark panders to NFU members’ aspirations, not those of consumers. Sadly, the Red Tractor has no USP from a consumer’s viewpoint.
British producers don’t need a generic advertising campaign for food that others can produce for less. They must show consumers how and why what they do is different - by product type, system and region of production. Perhaps that’s where producer-lobby groups should focus their attention.