New Red Tractor chair wanted

Chairman of Assured Foods Standards (AFS), Colin Smith, will stand down this year after serving the full fixed six-year term of office.

The AFS said that under Smith’s leadership, the organisation went through substantial growth, with the Red Tractor logo appearing on over £8b worth of product, a rise of about 60% in the past three years.

Smith’s work has also been praised by a number of leading bodies including the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the National Farmers’ Union.

BRC director general, Stephen Robertson, said: “Under Colin Smith’s inspirational leadership Red Tractor has become established as a trusted symbol for quality, conscientiously produced food and drink amongst retailers and consumers alike. Its dramatic growth in the last few years has been particularly impressive.”

Smith’s tenure began with a major restructuring of the organisation into a company limited by guarantee and owned by the UK food chain consolidating the various product sector assurance schemes into a single body. This was later followed by an announcement in January 2009 that the new levy board AHDB would, subject to State Aid approval, seek to rationalise its promotions behind a single logo, the Red Tractor, and provide resources to AFS to support this.

AHDB chief executive Kevin Roberts said: “Assuming we get State Aid approval for the proposal, this is an extremely exciting time for a new chairman and Red Tractor, with the opportunity to more effectively communicate the standards of production operated by British farmers and growers.”

AFS is now to start the recruitment process to find a candidate as chairman to take over from Colin Smith in the autumn.

Interested candidates will preferably have board level experience in the food supply chain without any current vested interest in a particular sector. For more information call the AFS on 020 7630 3320 or visit www.redtractor.org.uk