The Red Tractor farm assurance scheme has celebrated its 10th anniversary this week with a cake-cutting ceremony on London’s Southbank.
The event formed part of Red Tractor week which began on 14 June and was fronted by media celebrity Janet Street Porter.
She was joined by DEFRA secretary, Caroline Spelman at the Southbank event to cut into a cake made in the shape of the Red Tractor.
Red Tractor Facts
• £10bn worth of food products
DEFRA secretary, Caroline Spelman said: “Consumers can be confident about products when they carry the Red Tractor logo. It assures us that it is safe to eat and that high welfare standards have been followed. I’d encourage people to keep looking out for the Red Tractor logo and to support high British standards of production.”
Dorset farmer and staunch supported of the Red Tractor, Andrew Blenkiron, has also played a part in the week’s events.
Mr Blenkiron has spoken of his 10 years in the scheme both at a previous management post in Staffordshire and now at the 5000-acre Crichel Farms, Wimborne.
The Dorset farm’s 400 dairy cows, all organic, 200-head of beef cattle, and a herd of 2000 breeding sows are all marketed under the Red Tractor logo.
“People do recognise the Red Tractor when you talk to them about it,” explained Mr Blenkiron who said the addition of the Union Jack to the logo in 2004 helped to get the message across.
“Using the Union Jack flag has made it easier. People know that means the food they are buying is British.
“The past five years has seen an increase in interest in where food comes from. Animal welfare and the environment are talked about in the wider society and people are genuinely interested in how their food is produced.”
Mr Blenkiron used the Wolverhampton City Show to promote produce under the scheme.
“After talking to some of the 100,000 people who attended the show I can say that everyone I speak to has always been positive about it and that’s what it’s all about,” said Mr Blenkiron.
Now he wants to see the logo build on the success of the past 10 years.
“We all need to unite behind the Red Tractor – and that includes the retailers – to demonstrate to consumers that there is one clear logo to look out for.
“It shows them that the standards they care about – those of quality, animal welfare and food safety, as well as its provenance – are all recognised and valued by the industry and the wider food sector.”