Two NFU board chairmen have called for Red Tractor to become a global marketing tool for UK produce after Brexit.
Dairy board chair Michael Oakes and livestock board chair Richard Findlay both set out their support for the change in direction at NFU Council in Stoneleigh this week, but acknowledged the move would require more funding.
Mr Findlay pointed out the marque was already recognised across the world, citing the example of Japan, which is planning to provide athletes and visitors to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo with food produced to Red Tractor standards.
“Four or five years ago when the Japanese looked at Red Tractor, they thought it was the most robust set of standards in the world,” he said.
“It is recognised. Maybe we just do not realise how much.”
Mr Oakes suggested the need for Red Tractor to move towards marketing, as opposed to simply assurance, would increase after the UK leaves the EU.
“It would take more money and it would take asking farmers to get behind it as well,” he said.
“But it is brand UK to be honest. It is the best thing we have got other than the Union Jack. It says this is quality, this is provenance, but it is a big step from where we are today.”
Mr Findlay agreed.
“It would cost us more, but if we offer more robust traceability when we are looking for new markets in a brave new world, it might very well be money well spent,” he said.