Why do we need Red Tractor
The 1990s was a torrid time for the vast majority of British farmers after a spate of food scares put our trust in British Agriculture at an all-time low.
Fast forward to today and our food and drinks industry has radically transformed into one of Britain’s biggest industries. It brings more than £100 billion into our economy and employs over 4 million people.
Did you know that Red Tractor was set up as a result of these food scares almost twenty years ago? Our aim was to significantly improve the standards of farming in the UK and rebuild consumer trust in British food.
Today we are the biggest industry-wide food and farming assurance scheme with some of the most comprehensive farming and food standards in the world. We are the only UK-wide scheme that offers full traceability of products from farm to basket, along with high animal welfare standards and environmental protection.
No food sector has evolved as much as British farming in the last twenty years and, with Brexit looming just around the corner, our farmers are once again at a crossroads. New trade deals, import and export agreements risk cheaper food imports produced to lower food standards using practices which are unacceptable in the UK. For example, chlorinated chicken where chlorine is used to make it safe for consumption, or the prevalent use of antibiotics in meat and dairy compared with the limited use required by the Red Tractor scheme
Red Tractor farmer Alistair Mackintosh has voiced his concerns that UK food shoppers may be duped into buying cheaper imports produced to lower standards:
“Not all of our competitors around the world can match what we do, so it’s time to make sure we all understand the true value of Red Tractor, and how it is supporting and helping to lead the farming industry.
British farmers know they are the custodians of the UK countryside, and are proud of the high animal welfare and environmental standards they adhere to with Red Tractor. Let’s make sure importers of food and drink must be subject to the same rigorous standards.”