Red Tractor’s Pigs Board met in London last month. It was a wide-ranging discussion and I wanted to share a quick summary of what we covered so that you know the latest as a Red Tractor Pigs member.

The Red Tractor team shared an important update of the real risk of disruption and protest from animal welfare activists this summer. The board also heard from the National Pig Association (NPA) who are doing a great job to coordinate information sharing and ensure that all the relevant industry bodies can play their part. The team at Red Tractor continue to handle media relations to defend Red Tractor members who work hard to comply with the Standards.

Although specific intelligence is thin on the ground it’s clear that activist groups are planning activity and members need to take sensible precautions. Simple actions such as clear signage at all entrance points stating — the farm is private property, no unauthorised access and aggravated trespass is unlawful — can make a difference to the support available from the police in the event of an incursion. It’s also good practice to ensure staff training is up to date and livestock are always managed appropriately. You can find more information on the NPA website.  

The board heard from guest speaker, Amy Jackson who last year completed a PhD examining public attitudes to farming at the University of Nottingham. Amy opened up a fascinating discussion about how our industry needs to take ownership and action to re-establish trust with the general public. This is such an important challenge for us to work together on and the board had an important conversation about the different ways we can try and achieve that.

This will be relevant to many subjects, not least the difficult challenge of agricultural pollution. We know that this a real problem that our sector works hard to prevent. The board had a full discussion of the different considerations and the role that Red Tractor can play in supporting the industry in this area.

There was a strong consumer facing theme to the board meeting and the agenda 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.

I hope you found this quick working update useful. 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. If you’re interested in the role of the Pigs Board and its members, there’s more information here. 

Best regards,