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Red Tractor appoints Defra adviser as new pig sector chair

Stewart Houston has been appointed as Red Tractor’s new Pig Sector Committee Chair and Board Director. The position,  which is part-time and can be held for two three-year terms, has the responsibility for leading the development of the Red Tractor Assurance Pigs scheme and its standards.

Mr Houston joins Red Tractor with an extensive background in food and farming, having previously served as a Non-Exec board member for the Food Standards Agency, Chair of the British Pig Executive, an AHDB Board Member and Executive Director of the National Pig Association.

As a Non-Exec Member of Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Board,  Stewart continues to advise ministers on the delivery of Animal health and welfare policy and is the board lead for the Livestock Information Service and EU animal Health law.

Jim Moseley, Red Tractor CEO said: “As the UK enters into this unprecedented period of uncertainty, there has never been a more important time for Red Tractor to demonstrate strong industry leadership in pigs, as the UK’s largest food assurance scheme.

“I’m confident that under Stewart’s stewardship we will continue to strengthen our position as a progressive and critical body within the food and drink industry.”

Stewart Houston said: “I’m delighted to join Red Tractor at such a critical time for British Agriculture. Our high standards are the bedrock of our industry and we must continue to work to win the hearts and minds of government, consumers and the industry so that don’t witness an influx of imported food produced to lower standards that is required of farmers in the UK.”

Stewart joins Red Tractor in the new year, taking over the post currently held by Mike Sheldon.

Jim Moseley added: “ I would like to thank Mike for all his leadership and his dedicated service over the years at the start of Red Tractor’s journey 20 years ago and then as Chair of the Pig Sector. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Red Tractor is the UK’s largest food standards scheme, covering animal welfare, food safety, traceability and environmental protection. Working with experts in their fields, the programme ensures that families across Britain have access to safe, quality food that has been grown and reared in the UK to rigorous farming standards.