As the UK’s largest and most-comprehensive food assurance scheme, we get our fair share of questions from shoppers, farmers and the media.
The debate about standards and the impact of post-Brexit trade deals is fierce, fueling a surge in interest and scrutiny of how food is produced in the UK.
In recent months, the Red Tractor team has received an influx of queries driven by the various Free Trade Agreements declared by the UK government. People look to us because independent assurance schemes like Red Tractor are seen as a cornerstone of trust in UK food, as a recent report has found.
In June this year we got news of an agreement with Australia, and in October a deal with New Zealand was announced. We received messages from shoppers asking what it meant for the food they see on supermarket shelves, and how they could be sure that what they choose to buy is grown, reared and produced in the UK.
The answer is that for food which can be traced back to British farms and is produced to trusted standards, always look for the Red Tractor logo.
To help, we shared a simple infographic on social media which clearly highlighted some key differences in the legal farming practices between the UK and New Zealand. This was based on the facts, legislation and the knowledge of our technical experts who live and breathe the nitty gritty detail.
🇬🇧 UK free trade deal with New Zealand 🇳🇿
British shoppers are asking what the UK's latest free trade agreement means for food production standards. Here's a quick comparison 👇
Look for the Red Tractor logo – it means food is British, traceable, safe and farmed with care ✅ pic.twitter.com/Olz1u0KmC2
— Red Tractor (@RedTractorFood) October 21, 2021
Some claims and even an edited version of our infographic later surfaced in reply. Understandably, this has led to some confusion.
Let’s examine each of the points made in turn.
In sharing this post, we were answering legitimate questions put to us as the UK’s largest and most-trusted food assurance scheme, and we did so transparently and in good faith.
Red Tractor was founded two decades ago with the core purpose of rebuilding consumer trust in the entire British food industry after numerous damaging food scares. We’ve come a long way from the bad days of the 1990s where, for example, shops and restaurants would actively advertise how they didn’t sell British beef.
Today, we remain as committed as ever to our founding purpose to reassure shoppers that the food and drink that they buy to feed their families is traceable, safe and farmed with care.