What is the relationship between the NFU and Red Tractor?

Farming landscape in Yorkshire

A number of members have been in touch to ask about the ownership of Red Tractor, and what the NFU’s involvement in it is. The short Q&A below highlights the key questions CallFirst are being asked by members, and provides answers.

Does the NFU own Red Tractor?

As founders, the NFU, NFUS and UFU sit on what is known as “the ownership body” of Red Tractor alongside AHDB, Dairy UK and the British Retail Consortium. This group is known as the “owners”, although in practice they have no say in the everyday running of the organisation. The NFU, therefore, is a sixth of this group.

The “owners” are obliged to meet once annually at the AGM and their remit is strictly limited to appointing the Chair, passing resolutions to appoint Directors and, where necessary, amending the Articles.

The NFU does not therefore set the strategy nor control the running of Red Tractor, and the NFU has no transactional or funding relationship with Red Tractor. The “ownership body” delegates the running of the organisation to the Red Tractor AFS Board.

The Red Tractor AFS Board is the guiding body for the day to day running of Red Tractor, and includes many of the major industry stakeholder bodies and external advisors. The NFU is one of 18 members of this board, all of whom have a single vote.

Does the NFU pay for, or make money from, Red Tractor?

No, none of the members of the ownership body fund Red Tractor.

Red Tractor operates as a not-for-profit organisation with around 30 employees. It raises income through farmer membership fees, which account for around 40% of total income, and a licence fee charged to processors and packers, for the use of the scheme and the logo.

The license fees fund the marketing of the logo and scheme to consumers. The audits are conducted by accredited independent businesses.

More information on Red Tractor's board structure can be found at: Red Tractor | Who we are

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