Safeguarding your farm business at a time of increased activism

Rebecca Miller, Head of Communications, Red Tractor

Scrutiny of food production is more intense than at any other point, for this reason, for this reason it is vital that British agriculture continues to meet the expectations of shoppers and diners.

Red Tractor is the bedrock of progressive farming in Britain – reassuring consumers that food that is traceable back to British farms, is safe, and produced responsibly. Our standards are based on the needs and expectations of consumers and the supply chain, encompassing UK legislation, scientific evidence, and best practice. That’s why our standards underpin major supermarkets, brands and processors buying specifications.

Alongside farming unions and trade associations, Red Tractor is one of the industry’s biggest defences against the rhetoric of animal rights activists, misinformation, and vilifying campaigns.

Red Tractor’s credibility is largely dependent on members and farm workers striving to meet every standard, every day. Doing so not only protects the reputation of an individual member’s own business, but the entire industry in which they play a vital role.


Farms are homes and workplaces, and each one is very different. Whilst most campaigning that is carried will be carried out peacefully and legally, it can still prove to be a distressing time if you are targeted. Here are a couple of tips for you to consider:

  • Try to leave your farm as you would wish it to be found
  • How might someone access the farm hidden from view?
  • Would CCTV or time lapse cameras, positioned at particularly vulnerable points on the farm be helpful?
  • Talk to your neighbours, the local rural community, and perhaps your local neighbourhood watch- and keep an eye out for each other.
  • Ensure prospective workers are properly vetted- anybody applying for a role in good faith should be willing to provide certain basic information and references.

 Lastly- If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.


Engaging online through social media can be a valuable tool to promote the virtue of British farming and your business. During periods of intense activist activity on social media, it is worth considering:

  • Farming is an emotive topic, so it’s important to remain as calm as possible
  • The tone that is used is often intentionally provocative to try to elevate their point- do not respond in kind
  • Stay calm and share clear and use facts to address mistruths
  • Do not threaten or antagonise critics
  • Protect and moderate your posts

For tips on how to get the most out of using social media to showcase British farming at its best read a blog from NFU Dairy Board member Amy Eggleston HERE.