The chain says the labels, which it launched with the Carbon Trust four years ago, is frustrated at the lack of take up by other retailers and the time it takes to organise reports the Grocer magazine.

Tesco displays the label on around 500 products and is one of more than 100 businesses currently using it.

In an interview Tesco’s climate change director, Helen Fleming, said the supermarket would be phasing out its Carbon Reduction Labelling.

She said labelling each product takes ‘several months’ and as competitors were not following suit the scheme was no longer ‘viable.’

A Tesco spokesman said ‘no final decision’ had been made but customer feedback was that the labelling is ‘difficult’ to understand.

He added: “We are currently considering a range of options as to how we communicate what is often a complex message in a way that is easily understood.”

A Carbon Trust spokeswoman praised Tesco for pioneering the label but admitted it was disappointed with the decision.

She said: “Their early adoption of the label has been followed by over one hundred companies, with our carbon reduction label now licensed for use in 19 countries around the world with sales value of goods carrying the label worth some £3bn.

“We are clearly disappointed that Tesco has decided to phase out over time the use of the label on cost grounds.

“We know Tesco is reviewing future options and we will be actively supporting them in that review.

“We are confident that our existing label customers and new customers will see the value of an internationally recognised carbon label backed by expert independent certification.”

Luke Walsh

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