Red Tractor bid to become the flagship of UK food and farming welcomed

UFU President Ivor Ferguson
UFU President Ivor Ferguson

The Ulster Farmers’ Union says the new million pound TV advertising campaign launched by Red Tractor will help to give a welcome boost to the profile of the quality assurance scheme and the farmers behind it.

“The majority of farmers in Northern Ireland are involved in the Red Tractor scheme and they are adhering to some of the highest food production standards in the world, including animal health and welfare and environmental. With Brexit on the horizon, it is more important now that ever we help consumers understand that the food we produce is safe, traceable, and farmed with care,” said UFU president Ivor Ferguson.

The first Red Tractor commercial will air today (September 12) on ITV during an episode of Emmerdale. The animated adverts, designed to be fun and informative, will run for eight weeks on TV and digital channels.

“Research shows that shoppers are twice as likely to buy Red Tractor labelled produce when they understand what the label stands for. Red Tractor’s new campaign will help to boost this understanding and I would encourage people to look out for this label when shopping,” said Mr Ferguson.

In addition to the advertising campaign, Red Tractor has also announced it is planning to expand the scheme and introduce modules that specifically cover areas that reflect consumer demand such as organic, animal welfare focussed or environmental enhanced. It also announced plans to strengthen farm inspections.

Mr Ferguson said: “Red Tractor’s adoption of a more modular system will benefit both farmers and consumers. Producers will be able to use one scheme for all their assurance needs, helping to reduce the administrative burden on farm businesses. It will also help to improve labelling clarity, and reduce consumer confusion.

“Red Tractor is also proceeding with plans to strengthen its already comprehensive inspection programme to include unannounced risk based inspections. The majority of Red Tractor farmers are already doing an excellent job and this will not be an issue for them. However, the UFU will be working with Red Tractor to ensure these inspections are implemented in a practical manner on farms.

“The Red Tractor scheme continues to be a key tool for farmers to ensure consumers understand the hard work they put in and the high standards to which food in the UK is produced. The changes will help to instil further consumer confidence in the Red Tractor logo.”