Cumbrian beef and sheep farmer Alistair Mackintosh has been appointedasthenewvice chair of Red Tractor, the UK’s largest food assurance scheme.
In addition to roles as chair of the National NFULivestockBoard andvicechair oftheEuropean farmers’ unionCopa-Cogeca,for thelast five years Mackintosh hasheld the position ofRed Tractorsector chair for thebeef andlamb board.
During his tenure he hasbeen instrumental in addressingkey issues in his sector such as driving up improved animal welfare outcomes with the establishment of annual vet visits to improve the working relationship between vets and members, introducing recommendations for medicine training and promoting the responsible use of antibiotics.
Mackintosh will formally take up his new position in November, when fellow farmer AndrewBlenkiron’ssecond term comes to an end after almost eight years.
Red Tractor chair Christine Taconsaid: “I am delighted that Alistair will become Red Tractor’s next vice chair. Hiswealth ofknowledge and experiencewill beaconsiderableassetaswe navigate thesignificant challenges our industry faces posed byclimate change, international trade agreements, shifting public attitudes and the supply chain shortages.
“Findings from our Trust in Food Index have revealed how the public feels about the food they eat. This independent research found that by far the biggest reason why people trust British food, is the strength of our food standards, regulations, and independent assurance schemes like Red Tractor.
“If we want to maintain this high level of trust in UK produced food over the coming years, we need to make sure that we continue to show strong leadership to protect the integrity of the food chain and British agricultural standards.”
Tacon added: “I would like tosincerelythank AndrewBlenkironfor his leadership and years of dedicated service to Red Tractor, not onlyas vice chair, butthroughoutthe scheme’s 21-year history.
“Personally, I am grateful for the support and guidance he has given me since my appointment as chair in January. I know everyone who is involved with Red Tractor will join me in wishing him all the best for the future when his term ends.”
Alongside supportingand deputising forthe chair, Mackintosh willbe responsible for chairing the Standards Committee which oversees and recommends policies and actionson technical aspects of Red Tractor’s operationswhich effect all sectors.