Red Tractor - Not Good enough!

A right load of bollocks...

Red Tractor - Not Good enough!

Postby McAz » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:25 pm

Some supermarkets are using the Red Tractor (RT) logo widely as an assurance symbol on their meat and dairy products. All of Lidl and Aldi’s UK meat is RT certified and the scheme is also used by Asda, Booths, Iceland and others. In fact, according to Asda, the RT logo is found on nearly all the food that is produced (farmed or grown) in the UK.

The scheme certifies that produce meets the standards of the National Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme (NDFAS). These standards have been criticised for being simply the UK and EU legal minimums and nothing more, and for allowing factory-farmed systems and practices. In 2012, advertisements falsely claiming that RT pork was “high welfare” were banned following several complaints.

Funded by producer fees, the RT scheme is run by Assured Food Standards (AFS), a not-for-profit company owned by the NFU, British Retail Consortium (a retail trade association) and others. The RT website claims that it guarantees “food safety and hygiene, animal health and welfare, environmental protection and traceability” throughout the supply chain – “from farm to fork”.

According to the Ethical Consumer 2016 report on the National Farmers Union, ‘An English Agribusiness Lobby Group’, the RT’s mission is to maximise market share for UK producers whilst keeping the practical and financial implications to a minimum. This involves straddling awkward territory:

“It wants to persuade consumers to see it as a mark of quality whilst trying not to antagonise farmers by holding them to high standards.”

Some farmers argue that “the process actually adds very little ‘quality’ from a consumer perspective”.

Farmers have expressed frustration that supermarkets may only buy from UK assured farms, whilst happily stocking non-assured produce from abroad.

Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s have rejected the RT logo because of its low bar to entry – their suppliers are required to adhere to much more stringent regulations. Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King told NFU members in 2014: “I understand why the NFU wants to promote Red Tractor because they want to promote higher standards across the sector – a rising tide floating all boats. But we do a lot more”.

According to an interview with one farmer, “It’s a paper exercise and not an assurance of anything, other than the ability to create a file of paper accumulated since the last visit.”


http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/ethicalreports/supermarketssectorreport/supermarketanimalwelfare.aspx

tl;dr - if animal welfare is important to you then avoid the Red Tractor and choose...

Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Co-op UK and Tesco all demonstrating strong commitments to managing farm animal welfare standards and performance. Other supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Asda (part of Walmart), Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl are making progress in implementing farm animal welfare in their business processes...

...or direct from a local farm or butcher you trust.
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Re: Red Tractor - Not Good enough!

Postby Vam » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:56 am

I don't eat a lot of meat, Az, but when I do its always (always!) bought fresh from a local, trusted butcher.

I hate how much greasy excess fluid there is in a supermarket meat pack :pukeup:
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Re: Red Tractor - Not Good enough!

Postby McAz » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:46 am

Vam wrote:I don't eat a lot of meat, Az, but when I do its always (always!) bought fresh from a local, trusted butcher.

I hate how much greasy excess fluid there is in a supermarket meat pack :pukeup:

Wisely so. :thumbsup:

I live in a farming area so it's relatively easy to source good food - but for many that's not the case and the Red Tractor scheme, which is little more that a marketing ploy, exploits people's concerns about animal welfare and quality.
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Re: Red Tractor - Not Good enough!

Postby Frankly » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:04 pm

:smilin: This is a good point, McAz, and one I became aware of a while ago.

I only buy British meat from Coop and Waitrose.
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Re: Red Tractor - Not Good enough!

Postby Avon Barksdale » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:39 pm

Good to know.

Thanks for the info.
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