The benefits of farm assurance auditing for consumers and producers is being spelled out during the latest Red Tractor Week (11-17 September), in an effort to raise the profile of quality-assured British food.
The marque already has a high level of recognition among consumers, at 68%, but there is less clear understanding of what it actually stands for.
See also: Red Tractor changes its farm standards
As such, each day the organisation is providing a series of blog posts explaining the logistics of farm assurance – how farms are inspected for high animal welfare and environmental protection, what is allowed in terms of medication, and what Red Tractor for traceability.
The blog posts also include short video clips of farmers explaining some of the basics of production and the role of Red Tractor auditing.
To encourage consumer involvement, the organisation has also teamed up with various food companies to offer prizes – such as a hamper of duck products from Gressingham Duck, and a dairy hamper from Wyke Farm.
The blog posts also include a daily recipe, while visitors may enter a free competition to win a £400 Original Cottages holiday voucher.
The launched of Red Tractor Week follows the publication of a new report from NFU Mutual into food fraud, which emphasised the important role of quality assurance in building consumer confidence.
Even though overall consumers are less trusting of food supply chains than they were five years ago, 67% of shoppers said they use food assurance stamps to help them choose the products they buy.
The Fairtrade stamp is the most influential, highlighted by 44% of the 2,000 respondents, with Red Tractor close behind on 42%.
A spokesman for Red Tractor confirmed that some 75% of UK farms are now signed up to the scheme, while the marque covers some £12bn of food each year.
Only foods that have been assured right through the supply chain, from farm to pack, may carry the logo.