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Red Tractor Week proves huge success


Red Tractor, the independent and not-for-profit scheme run by Assured Food Standards, celebrated its 10th birthday during Red Tractor Week, which ran from 14th-20th June. The campaign, which was fronted by Janet Street-Porter, has proved hugely successful for Red Tractor, generating significant media and consumer interest on a national level, as well as support from the Government.

The Weeks highlight was Tuesdays official launch, when Janet Street-Porter was joined by Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman MP, and David Gregory, Chairman of Assured Food Standards to cut a giant six-foot Red Tractor cake on Londons

Southbank. The ceremony was attended by a host of industry supporters of the Red Tractor Scheme.

David Gregory of AFS, commented: We are delighted with the success of Red Tractor Week and the 10th anniversary celebrations, which provided a great platform for us to raise further awareness of the Red Tractor mark amongst the industry and consumers. Were now looking forward to further growth as we aim to build on this fantastic momentum.

Conservative minister, Lord John Taylor of Holbeach CBE, added: As a farmer and grower myself, I am a great supporter of the Red Tractor scheme, which provides significant value to not only food producers, but also the consumer and the economy as a whole.

Other highlights of Red Tractor Week included: 

  • The NFUs re-launch of its Lets Talk Farming Roadshow, which visited schools in Central London throughout the week giving pupils an insight into how food makes it way from British farms to their plates.
  • Carling, the UKs number one lager, announced its Red Tractor certification for its barley.  Carling will now carry the Red Tractor mark on all its multi-pack boxes and will be carrying the logo on its cans later this year.
  • Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman MP joined David Clarke, Chief Executive of AFS in a visit to the Three Counties Show at the Malvern Showground the UKs first showground to receive Red Tractor status.
  • More than 300,000 consumers were reached via national broadcast and print coverage of Red Tractor Week, including features on BBC Radio 4s Farming Today, Radio 2s Drivetime show and Channel 5s The Wright Stuff

In only a decade Assured Food Standards has, with the support of leading supermarkets, taken the Red Tractor mark onto 10bn worth of UK food and drink products[i] including major brands and is making significant inroads into the foodservice sector. The scheme has also been chosen by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) which is committed to sourcing Red Tractor food for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For more information on Red Tractor and details of the scheme, please visit

  • Leading retailer, Tesco got behind the week by increasing on-pack Red Tractor labelling across all stores, helping to raise awareness of Red Tractor products available to shoppers. Whilst leading food service suppliers, Sodexo helped to promote Red Tractor food with over 1000 Red Tractor education packs that went into schools and defence sites.
  • Farmers got involved by hosting school visits. On one Red Tractor farm school visit the day really brought learning to life as the class got a lesson in the origin of food when the teacher got hands on in helping to deliver a heifer calf, who incidentally now shares her birthday with Red Tractor.
  • In the lead up to Red Tractor Week, there were announcements about new commitments to farm assured ingredients from leading beer brand Carling, Three Counties Agricultural Society and Thames Valley University School of Hospitality. All have become the latest high profile members to join the Red Tractor scheme.
  • As a positive sign of future developments, Red Tractor featured prominently at this years prestigious Institute of Hospitality annual lunch attended by catering industry leaders. 
  • Red Tractor Week is an effective communication platform for talking to consumers about how and where their food is produced.
  • Red Tractor Week helps food businesses demonstrate their commitment to supplying quality assured products and shows their support for great farming.
  • High profile supporters include the NFU, AHDB, Massey Ferguson, Wells and Youngs, Greene King and the Three Counties Showground.
  • Major retailers, particularly Tesco and brands such as Silverspoon and Country Life supported Red Tractor Week.
  • Red Tractor foodservice, packing and processing companies including Sodexo and Brakes have also demonstrated their commitment to Red Tractor Week.
  • Red Tractor helps demonstrate the high standards followed by producers and gives consumers the assurance they need that the food they are buying meets strict standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection with a guarantee of origin.
  • The flag in the Red Tractor logo guarantees the origin of the food. So the Union Jack flag tells you that the product has been farmed, processed and packed in the UK.
  • The Red Tractor logo provides transparency for consumers and differentiates quality assured products.
  • Red Tractor standards are maintained all the way from farm to pack. All Red Tractor farmers, processors and packers are regularly inspected by independent experts who conduct thousands of audits each year.
  • AFS is owned by all links in the UK food chain from farmers to retailers.
  • The Board of AFS includes respected scientists, prominent academics and experienced professionals from the fields of veterinary science, farming, animal welfare, food processing, retailing and trading standards.
  • Red Tractor covers a wide range of food and drink including meat, vegetables, fruit, salads, milk, cheese, butter, sugar, beer and flour.
  • The Red Tractor logo now features on products with an annual retail sales value of 10 billion. All major retailers and more than 500 leading companies use the logo.
  • Standards for all sectors (e.g. chicken, dairy, vegetables etc.) have been developed and are regularly revised by some of the top industry experts to ensure that food safety, animal welfare and environmental standards are maintained appropriately and continually reflect consumer demand.
  • For Food businesses, Red Tractor reinforces their messaging to customers about the importance of assured quality, traceable, food that meets high standards of due diligence.

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