Ready meals to feature Red Tractor UK meat logo

Ready meals are to be stamped with a new red tractor logo to assure consumers they contain meat sourced from a UK farm.

The Red Tractor Assurance Logo will be used on ready meals for the first time in a bid to reassure consumers where the meat they contain comes from.

Sales of ready meals have not managed to recover since the horsemeat scandal in January 2013, with the industry struggling to win back consumers' confidence.

Horsemeat DNA was found in a range of burgers and convenience products from supermarkets including Tesco, Iceland and Lidl.

The logo has never appeared on ready meals before and is only branded on products that can be traced back to UK farms. Around 78,000 farms are part of the scheme, which is seen as an indicator of high standards of hygiene and animal welfare.

Chief executive of Red Tractor David Clarke said: "The new Made With logo has been in development for some time and although it isn't a direct reaction to horsemeat, the events that unfolded in 2013 certainly made us look at it even more seriously," he said.

According to research carried out by Red Tractor, more than half of shoppers are more likely to buy items such as ready meals if they are branded with the logo. Despite the horsemeat scandal and a drop in sales, the UK still spends around 2.5bn on convenience food each year.

Supermarket Asda will launch the logo on its chilled beef ready meal later this month.