The Red Tractor Combinable Crops & Sugar Beet board met last month to consider the latest issues which are affecting assured growers.

One highlight from the meeting included a reflection on Red Tractor’s successful presence at the recent Cereals event. As ever, Cereals was a great opportunity for the team to talk about standards with crops and sugar beet members from across the country. It was also my first time attending as Red Tractor Combinable Crops & Sugar Beet chairman – an experience which reinforced my strong belief that Red Tractor must find more in-person opportunities to engage with members.

Attending Cereals is also one of the many ways Red Tractor can keep in touch with our industry partners, such as NFU, AHDB and AIC. These bodies work together to support the UK’s vibrant arable market. Your Red Tractor sector board is made up of a broad range of these stakeholders and representatives from across the UK crops and sugar beet supply chain.

Our most recent meeting included a presentation of the latest Red Tractor research to fully understand what ‘product quality’ really means to consumers. What factors do they take into consideration? And what does the Red Tractor logo uniquely add to their understanding of product quality? You can find out more here.

We also considered best practice emerging from other Red Tractor sectors that explores ways to streamline how the Standards are presented. This was covered in the most recent edition of the Member Matters newsletter  We are always looking at different ways we can reduce the administrative burden for members and this is work we will consider closely.

We are aware that members continue to face rising living costs and increasing pressures within the industry. We know that the Red Tractor assessment regime can add to these challenges and that mental health is an important issue for the agriculture sector. Supporting personal resilience has never been more important. There are several resources you can access and many charities which offer specialist help in times of need – details can be found on the Red Tractor Assurance website here.

The board structure, which is supported by a Technical Advisory Committee, is an important way for your industry bodies to represent your interests and shape the direction of future Red Tractor standards. Its also an important fourm for Red Tractor to raise issues that affect the sector, such as preparing members for incoming legislation on urea use, or highlighting potential changes to accessing international markets, now the UK is outside the EU.

The Red Tractor Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet board is here to support your excellent work, and we wish you a successful and safe Harvest. Please feel free to contact us on memberhelp@redtractor.org.uk and 020 7630 3320 if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to help.

Best Wishes,

Kit Papworth

Red Tractor Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet Chairman