Cumbrian beef and sheep farmer appointed new vice-chair at Red Tractor

Cumbrian beef and sheep farmer Alistair Mackintosh has been appointed as the new vice-chair of the Red Tractor farm and food assurance scheme.

Mr Mackintosh has been sector chair of Red Tractor’s beef and lamb board for the past five years, during which time he has been instrumental in driving up improved animal welfare outcomes.

This has included the establishment of annual vet visits to improve the working relationship between vets and farmers, introducing recommendations for medicine training, and promoting the responsible use of antibiotics.

In the past, he has also held roles as chairman of the NFU Livestock Board (a post he relinquished in 2012 to have a shot at becoming an NFU officeholder) and vice-chair of the European farmers’ union Copa-Cogeca.

Red Tractor chairwoman Christine Tacon praised Mr Mackintosh’s wealth of knowledge and experience. “He will be a considerable asset as we navigate the significant challenges our industry faces posed by climate change, international trade agreements, shifting public attitudes and the supply chain shortages,” she said.

Mr Mackintosh, who farms with his two sons in Cumbria and looks after more than 1,500 breeding ewes, will formally take up his new position in November.

Alongside supporting and deputising for the chair, he will be responsible for chairing the standards committee, which oversees technical aspects of Red Tractor’s operations.

Mr Mackintosh replaces Suffolk farmer Andrew Blenkiron, who will be completing almost eight years in the role – two standard stints of three years each, followed by a two-year extension, at the request of the board.

Mr Blenkiron is expected to take over as NFU Suffolk country chairman in the near future.

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