Red Tractor: Consultants brought in to complete review

The NFU has appointed consultants Campbell Tickell to complete the independent review into Red Tractor’s governance.

Scenic rolling landscape view across green pastoral farmland to Lomond Hills Regional Park and West Lomond Hill from outside of Kennoway, Fife, Scotland, UK.

The review will look at Red Tractor’s decision-making procedures and transparency; who the organisation consults in the development of standards; and how it engages with stakeholders.

Campbell Tickell, which will be carrying out the independent review, is a multi-disciplinary management consultancy, specialising in governance.

This follows a backlash from the farming community over Red Tractor’s plans to introduce a voluntary environment module, which many feared would become compulsory and see farmers forced to give away public goods for free, at greater expense to the farm.

There were also questions over the lack of consultation with the industry, prompting some farming organisations to support a review of Red Tractor’s governance.

Having examined the effectiveness of Red Tractor’s processes, the review will identify any obstacles which need addressing.

Through interviews and survey work, the review team will speak to a cross-section of those involved across the Red Tractor process, including farmer representatives, to determine how those processes work currently.

In late January, the emerging findings of that review will be presented to NFU Council and the Red Tractor Ownership Body which has agreed to own the findings of the review and also approved the terms of reference. The final report should be made available in mid-February.

Red Tractor said last month it had halted all new standards and additional modules until the first review is complete.

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