Red Tractor boss Jim Moseley has called on all members of the food quality assurance scheme to help protect its integrity as so-called “exposés” of farm practices become an increasingly used as a tactic by animal rights campaigners to discredit livestock farming.
Chief executive Mr Moseley professed the high standards of British food production and its rigorous checks through the Red Tractor as he announced that the assurance scheme will have its own national television advertising campaign later this year for the first time in its history.
But that exercise, while necessary to increase shoppers’ awareness of the standards to which Red Tractor branded food is produced, will spark even closer scrutiny of the scheme, Mr Moseley warned.
“One negative story about a farm that is not complying to assurance standards 365 days a year can quickly spread to millions of consumers and undermine that trust,” he said.
“Now is the time for every member to do their bit and protect the integrity of the logo.”
The new television advert will be part of a fresh Red Tractor awareness campaign which will be synchronised and reinforced across magazines, on-demand video, websites and social media channels.
Mr Moseley said: “The new campaign will focus on the reassurance that Red Tractor brings to consumers through its rigorous checks against the high standards of British agriculture.”
The exact dates of when the campaign will air are yet to be confirmed, but more details will emerge in the coming months.
Mr Moseley said British farm assured produce could find it is competing more with imported food on the shop shelves after Brexit, with the outcome of trade deals and tariffs yet to be decided, and so the ability of shoppers to differentiate a UK product from an import in terms of its production standards, origin, traceability and safety has never been more important.
“We need more shoppers to know more about the food they are buying to increase active sourcing of assured food,” he said.