New Red Tractor chair needs to champion UK food production standards, says UFU

Thursday, 29 October, 2020

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has written to Red Tractor chief executive (CEO) Jim Moseley, to express its optimism that the next Red Tractor chair will champion the world-leading production standards that Northern Ireland (NI) farmers uphold. The letter was authored after current chair Baroness Neville-Rolfe, announced that she will leave the organisation at the end of her three-year term on 12 November 2020 and will not be seeking re-appointment.

UFU president Victor Chestnutt said, “The UFU supports the course of action that must now be taken to fulfil the position of Red Tractor chair. It is essential that the individual assigned to the position will champion our high standards, promote the integrity of the food supply chain and will understand the competitive pressures on our farmers and growers. Particularly, the ongoing threat of low-cost imports produced to significantly lower standards gaining access into the country.

“We were horrified when Baroness Neville-Rolfe voted against Lord Curry’s amendment to the UK Agriculture Bill. It would have strengthened the role of the new Trade and Agriculture Commission enabling them to submit reports on international trade agreements outlining the impact they would have on UK food and farming for parliamentary scrutiny.

“The UFU along with the other UK farming unions and the Red Tractor CEO, have been laboring tirelessly through the Trade and Agriculture Commission to ensure that imported agri-food products would have to meet the same high standards required from our farmers and growers. We now look forward to working with the newly appointed Red Tractor chair as we continue to lobby for official policy that will protect UK food production and farming in all trade deals.”