Red Tractor founder David Clarke and NIAB chief executive Dr Tina Barsby are among the food industry figures to be recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.
Clarke, who receives a CBE, was a founding member of Red Tractor Assurance and its first chief executive, leading the scheme for 17 years.
His tenure saw Red Tractor grow from a standing start to become the UK’s leading assurance scheme with 46,000 farm member businesses and £14 billion of food bearing the Red Tractor logo.
Over a 50-year career, Clarke worked in the Wall’s Meat Company before a 22-year stint in foodservice with the Forte Group in technical support and supply chain management roles.
“Providing people with safe, nutritious and affordable food is an enterprise with fundamental importance and it has been a privilege to work in food and farming for nearly five decades,” Clarke said. “I think this honour only serves to underline the importance of this national initiative to ensure good standards of production across the UK supply chain from farm to retail shelf.”
Meanwhile Barsby is a plant geneticist, well known for her scientific achievements and significant experience in the agricultural crop sector, and has been chief excecutive of NIAB since 2008. Of her OBE, she said: “This award is a great honour for me and a tribute to all the colleagues I’ve worked with across the industry over the years. Every day I’m inspired by the work being carried out at NIAB and the essential contribution we are making to help our industry fulfil its potential in food production.”
Also honoured were Defra's Paul Walker, who receives an OBE for services to engineering, bio-containment and UK animal, plant and food science; and James Bell, who collects the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for services to the farming community in Northern Ireland.