NFU backs Red Tractor bid to become British food and farming flagship
- Credit: Tim Scrivener/www.agriphoto.com
A food assurance scheme is beefing up its farm inspection regime as it launches a TV advertising campaign to help raise its profile.
The Red Tractor scheme is set to carry out more unannounced inspections to ensure producers are meeting standards after concerns were raised about cruelty to pigs on a Red Tractor accredited farm, which was subsequently removed from the scheme.
It is hoped the new million pound TV advertising drive for Red Tractor, which is backed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), will boost the thousands of farmers who are part of it, and highlight the standards they adhere to.
The first of eight weeks worth of animated commercials was set to air on ITV on Wednesday (September 12) during an episode of Emmerdale.
Red Tractor, a not-for-profit body, said it was increasing the strength and breadth of its food chain assurance regime in a bid to become the flagship of British food and farming.
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A set of ‘modular standards’, to sit alongside its current core offering, will cover areas such as enhanced animal welfare, organic and environmentally sustainable production, highlighted by a labelling system for shoppers.
It is also set to carry out more unannounced inspections to improve the integrity of the scheme.
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Red Tractor Assurance chief executive Jim Moseley said he was “proud” to be leading the organisation through the changes.
“Our vision is that Red Tractor is seen by shoppers, farmers and the food industry as the flagship of British food and farming,” he said.
NFU president Minette Batters welcomed the changes. “Brexit is a game changer for British agriculture and ‘Brand Britain’ must be based on the integrity of robust food assurance,” she said.
“This new advertising campaign will raise the profile and understanding of Red Tractor, farmers and the fantastic job they do producing the nation’s food to high levels of animal welfare and environmental standards.”
Farmers and growers needed to reach out to shoppers and encourage them to buy high quality, British produce, she added.