Red Tractor Week to build awareness

Red Tractor bosses claimed the scheme has reached a "tipping point" and are hoping to build on a decade of hard work with the launch of Red Tractor Week, 14-20 June 2010.

The Assured Food Standards (AFS) scheme currently enjoys recognition by around 55% of consumers. AFS is hoping to build on that, using an increased £1m funding over three years, created by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board's (AHDB) decision to consolidate its promotions under Red Tractor.

David Gregory, chairman of AFS, said Red Tractor had gone through a tipping point in the last 12 months: "We're at 55% in terms of recognition we've had peaks before, but this is steady growth. The target now is to translate the recognition into understanding and behaviour."

However, chief executive David Clarke said it was important to manage industry expectations when it came to consumer understanding. "When it comes to origin, we've got really high understanding, but if we expect consumers to know that beef standards involve proper use of veterinary medicines, then we're never going to get there. We want a warm halo effect around Red Tractor we want them to know it's safe and good to serve to kids."

He said the extra AHDB funding was a "small sum" but "sufficient" for them to operate effectively.

Red Tractor Week will include a series of activities, and will be fronted by Janet Street-Porter as "brand ambassador".