One of the UK's "big four" supermarkets could sign up to a project that will give suppliers of private-label beverages "traffic light" ratings on product safety and risk management.

The scheme, drawn up by insurance giant Marsh, will be designed to give retailers more information about the risk management systems of their suppliers.

In turn, retailers will be better placed to minimise the prospects of product recalls and protect the image of their brands in the eyes of consumers, according to Marsh's Jeremy Moore, who has led the project.

"Retailers have two main priorities; one is the reputation of their brands and, second, is the loyalty of their customers," Moore told just-drinks today (19 January). "This tool will help take both of these to the next stages. By carrying out this work, retailers can reduce the likelihood of a recall and make the end products they sell to consumers safer."

Moore confirmed that one of the UK's "big four" supermarkets - Asda, Morrison, Sainsbury's and Tesco - was mulling whether to sign up to the scheme. He declined, however, to name the interested party.

Marsh's "traffic light" ratings will have coloured ratings of red, amber and green, Moore said. A red rating could, for instance, indicate that suppliers are not following EU regulations, or that their risk management systems are inadequate.

"Through talking to the myriad suppliers that we represent, it's clear that compliance with EU regulations isn't necessarily in place everywhere," Moore said. "The majority [of suppliers] are aware of them but that's not the same as compliance."