Tuesday 14th May 2024

Following the latest round of sector board meetings, each sector board Chair has now provided an update. This includes the Beef and Lamb sector board Chair John Dracup who has clarified the situation following his meeting. I have also spoken to the National Sheep Association about their concerns.

Red Tractor must now be given a chance to get on with all the changes that are already in motion and need implementing – some of which also address a key concern of the NSA’s. There are processes in place for good reason, and efforts to circumnavigate these will not move the situation forward; in fact, they risk damaging confidence everywhere. Now, more than ever, we need to work together, constructively, to see UK farming through its current challenging times.

Farm assurance can only seek to create paths to markets between producers and supply chains; it cannot solve chronic power imbalances or guarantee price premiums. Nonetheless, there remains almost universal agreement between farmer representatives and supply chains that farm assurance plays a critical role. What we must do is demonstrate the value of that role.

To this end, the team remain fully focused on improving the farm-side operations of Red Tractor to achieve the value, transparency and audit efficiency that farmers want to see.