Development of Assurance in the Farming and Food sector
Red Tractor Assurance has developed over the years in response to market requirements as companies and retailers have looked to verify that the farmers and food businesses supplying them are achieving good agricultural standards.
To begin with, many companies set their own standards and carried out their own assessments. However, it became clear that a nationally agreed standard would be much more efficient and recognisable and by the end of the 1990s, there was a scheme in every major sector of food production.
The idea of unifying the different sector standards under a single assured food standards umbrella emerged in 1999 following research into consumer attitudes. This revealed that shoppers wanted independent reassurance that farmers and growers were meeting high standards of agricultural practice. It also indicated that the public wanted to see independent assessors checking on issues such as animal health and welfare and what farmers were doing to protect the environment. They wanted an easily recognisable symbol on pack that would give them total confidence in the food they were buying.
Now, the Red Tractor quality mark can be spotted on thousands of Assured products such as beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, milk, cheese, cream, cereals, sugar, flour, fruit, vegetables and salads, in supermarkets everywhere.