Celebrating 20 years of Red Tractor at Downing Street
After more than three years of confusion the UK is set to leave the EU at the end of this month. It’s a major milestone for every business and for everyone.
For the farming community, all eyes are now on the trade terms under which food will be imported and exported out of the UK.
At this time of great change, where we are seeing shifting food consumption patterns, a digital revolution and the challenges of climate change; one thing in agriculture remains constant- Red Tractor continues to help keep food produced in Britain safe.
We should be proud of how food is produced in this country. The standards we set for farmers, have not been created overnight; they are the result of two decades of constant improvement.
Our exceptional quality standards send a firm signal that British Farming is a bastion for high standards. One of its strongest assets is Red Tractor, which celebrates turning 20 this year.
Red Tractor, created to rebuild trust in British Agriculture after a spate of food scares, now has an equally important job to ensure that the UK maintains its leading position on food production. To do this we need to ensure that we continue to evolve so that food is produced in the way that the consumers of today demand.
Around 75 per cent of UK agricultural output is Red Tractor assured – which means about £14 billion of British produced food and drink carry our logo. Our standards are steeped in scientific understanding and they ensure food safety from farm to fork. As we say – safe, traceable and farmed with care.
Our rules are designed to keep diseases like E.coli out of farms – for example by requiring the use of water that is fit for human consumption on crops and fresh produce like lettuce. Protecting consumers from food scares continues to be one of Red Tractor’s reasons for being.
Red Tractor’s standards are set above the legal minimum, pushing forward on issues consumers care about.
YouGov found that eight out of 10 UK adults admit to taking food safety for granted and the latest figures for foodborne illnesses in the UK are currently as low as 1.5%, compared with figures from the US figure of 17%.
So as Red Tractor enters its 20th year and we celebrate what has been achieved in the last two decades, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind the Government that while UK farming holds itself to a high standard, any trade agreement must demand the same of other countries- making it an equal and fair playing field.
To mark the occasion, we presented this wonderful cake to the Prime Minister. We are told he was very impressed.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Red Tractor Chair