NFU members talk to shoppers as Red Tractor week kicks off

As Red Tractor week gets underway, NFU members will be out and about at supermarkets across the country to explain why the logo is so important.

With the support of the food retailers, farmers will be talking to shoppers to encourage them to look for the Red Tractor logo on food products in a bid to raise awareness of the standards behind the scheme that include traceability, environmental protection, food safety and hygiene and world leading animal welfare.

As part of Red Tractor week, shoppers also have a chance to win a Farm Stay mini break, with a promotion running across all Red Tractor pre-packed branded goods, including meat and poultry, dairy, cereals and fresh produce. ASDA, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, The Cooperative, Lidl and Aldi have all signed up to take part.

NFU dairy board vice chairman Michael Oakes, a dairy farmer in Worcestershire, said: “We all know that the current dairy crisis has brought consumer support for our sector to the fore. All organisations involved in the crisis have repeatedly stressed that looking for the Red Tractor mark is a way of supporting British producers. As farmers and industry representatives alike, we are proud of our production standards and traceability, and I believe this does set us apart from competitors.

“From speaking with lots of consumers, I am aware that there is recognition of the Red Tractor logo. However, I am concerned that levels of understanding lag behind and that the values that shoppers associate with the logo and Red Tractor Assurance do vary. Building shopper awareness and understanding is essential if we’re to get more people looking for farm assurance on more products.

“I have also visited many different supermarkets in recent weeks, and I think there are areas where retailers can advance the Red Tractor. Whether that’s more prominent labelling on front of pack to ensure it can be easily seen at the point of purchase, identifying at how the logo could be extended to other products or encouraging support and sign up of Red Tractor promotions, there is scope to do more.

“All this week NFU members will be out and about to engage with shoppers to explain the wider importance of our industry and the importance of Red Tractor. In the current climate, farmers are keen to champion their products and their industry in a positive way. My view is that Red Tractor has an opportunity to help capitalise on farmer interest and channel it in a practical way. Not only would this benefit consumers and British agriculture, but it would also enhance the visibility of Red Tractor among farmers.”

Meanwhile, farmers are also being encouraged to get involved through a high profile social media campaign #trustthetractor by telling consumers what they do and why supporting Red Tractor is so important.

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