Controversial proposals to change the Red Tractor farm assurance scheme are the subject of a survey being carried out by the National Beef Association (NBA).
The organisation is conducting its own poll to determine beef farmers’ opinions on the plans to introduce whole life assurance for beef cattle - an arrangement which is already in place as part of the Red Tractor scheme in the pig industry.
Red Tractor is considering making it necessary for beef cattle to have spent their entire lives on a Red Tractor farm, rather than for just 90 days. It is convinced that this is what shoppers have come to expect.
Some farmers agree but others warn it could further reduce national herd numbers.
Chris Mallon, the NBA’s chief executive, said: “This is a one-off opportunity for all British beef farmers to have their say in the outcome for the proposal for whole life assurance, and we are encouraging as many as possible to take the survey and influence the outcome,” Mr Mallon said.
“Anyone is welcome to give their views, not just members of the NBA.”
Red Tractor has launched its own consultation on the change, as well as holding a series of consultation meetings across the UK, and earlier this month, Red Tractor said it was disappointed that grossly inflated estimates of the costs of switching to whole life assurance to the industry had been circulated.
“One estimate we have seen alleges that an investment of at least £1,000 will be needed at every farm simply to meet the requirements,” Red Tractor said in a statement.
“This is simply not true.”
The NBA’s Big Farm Survey can be completed online at www.nationalbeefassociation.com