20 Years of Driving British Standards

The pride we feel in British food and drink today is a far cry from the crisis facing our farmers 20 years ago. BSE, salmonella and foot and mouth were hugely damaging to both the farming industry and the confidence of British shoppers. That’s why industry leaders and farmers came together to create Red Tractor: a not-for-profit company providing stability and consistency through a single set of assured standards.

What’s Our Impact On Your Shopping Basket?
We are the only food assurance scheme in the UK to cover as many sectors and standards as deeply as we do
Not every UK farm meets our standards – in 2020, nearly 3000 farms were suspended from our scheme for not meeting our requirements
450
We work with over 450 independent inspectors to carry out over 60,000 checks a year across the entire food supply chain
Many of the UK’s leading restaurant chains are also part of the Red Tractor scheme
All of the major supermarkets use Red Tractor standards as part of their food sourcing and supplier specifications
£14 billion
of British Food & Drink carries our logo
Our History…
How It All Began

During the early ’90s, British farming took a hit as high profile food scares were making the headlines. This affected people’s trust and as a result a number of Farm Assurance Schemes were introduced.

Although these schemes were put in place to help, they ultimately made food shopping even more confusing. Shoppers asked for a single symbol that would stand out on packaging, ultimately providing them with the reassurance that the food had been produced to high standards…

2000
It all started with
A little Red Tractor…

That’s why in 2000 the Red Tractor Food Assurance Scheme was born. Originally known as ‘British Farm Standard’, we were made up of a body of experts from the farming and food industry, all of whom were committed to tracing food back to its original source and ensuring all stages of the food chain had met safe food rules.

2005

In 2005 we changed our logo to incorporate the Union Jack. We did this to reflect our commitment to ensuring all Red Tractor produce is traceable back to British farms as well as to reinforce our responsibility for robust food production standards. Red Tractor is the only scheme that offers full supply chain traceability of products, from farm to pack.

2012

This was a big year for the UK. The London 2012 Olympics were the most sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games in history and were a celebration of British culture and history.

In support of this, all food sourced for the Games had to be Red Tractor approved, ensuring athletes and fans alike enjoyed quality British food that was traceable, safe and farmed with care.

2020

In 2020, we launched our latest logo to increase clarity for consumers about our world-leading standards. Since our foundation, we have become the most trusted food assurance scheme in the UK.

Find out more and explore our logos and what they mean here
Look for the logo
The Future

In 2021, 74% of shoppers that are aware of the Red Tractor logo say we are an independent source they can trust. But we never take that trust for granted. We have worked tirelessly for the last 21 years to drive up standards in food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection in the UK.

As we look to the future, we are more focused than ever on ensuring we are world leading both in our standards as well as our ability to overcome challenges such as Covid 19 through adaptations such as rapidly switching to remote assessments when necessary.