An interview with…Andy Thompson, Marketing Manager at Red Tractor Assurance.

September 3rd, 2015

Recently, we spoke to Andy Thompson, Marketing Manager at Red Tractor Assurance, who shed some light on what he is currently working on, and how his work affects us here at Faccenda Foods.

 

What is your role at Red Tractor (RT)?

As the Marketing Manager my responsibility is two-fold, first is to get as many people as possible to recognise the RT logo. The logo has been around for 15 years and recognition is about 70%, so there’s still an element of awareness we need to drive. Secondly, amongst the 70% of people who recognise it, we want to drive understanding of what RT stands for. There are 4 things; food safety, animal welfare, traceability, and environmental protection. Consumers already get the ‘British’ part of it because of the Union Flag in the logo, and the tractor is associated with farming.

What do you enjoy the most about working at Red Tractor?

My favourite part is working with British food and drink suppliers every day.  The people I work with are passionate about what they do, and raising the standards to ensure higher quality.

Can you tell our readers about Red Tractor, and why is it important?

Red Tractor is the largest food assurance scheme in the UK. It ensures the food you buy is traceable, safe to eat and has been produced responsibly – from farm to fork. RT covers an extensive range of products, including meat, poultry, dairy, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Products bearing the logo have to meet some of the most comprehensive and respected standards in the world; so you only need to look for one sign of assurance when choosing what to eat.

Who uses the Red Tractor logo?

We have about 88,000 farmers who are signed up to the Red Tractor standard. We’ve also got over 700 licensees – predominately producers of finished goods such as Faccenda Foods and restaurants like Nandos.

What is the Red Tractor week?

The objective is to raise awareness of what RT is all about. Along with the media we host lots of activities with our brand ambassador Alex James – the bass guitarist for Blur and an avid farmer/food writer. We are also trying to get school children across all ages to interact with the brand to understand more about where their food comes from. This year Red Tractor week will be held from 14th – 20th September, check out the website to see how you can get involved www.redtractor.org.uk.

What are some of the challenges for Red Tractor?

The biggest challenge is a small budget but so much to do. Red Tractor is a very small non-profit company. We need to influence a wider network of stakeholders, such as retailers and companies like Faccenda, to communicate the logo to the public and explain what it stands for.

What do you enjoy about working with Faccenda Foods?

As a company Faccenda seems very open, accommodating, and willing to work with other companies. When we first met Greg Choulerton and his team, they were very honest in sharing their view of the industry – it is this collaborative approach in trying to achieve each other’s objectives that works.

Greg Choulerton, Faccenda Foods Sales & Marketing Director commented –

“With the support of the Faccenda category team we have been supplying the RT team with some new and relevant insight around retail and food service activities, helping RT to formalise their short and longer term strategic activities.

I am personally proud to represent poultry and Faccenda Foods on the RT team and a great supporter of what the RT stands for, particularly its support of our industry and business”.

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