FARMERS and the food industry have spent 20 years investing time, effort, money and passion into the Red Tractor assurance scheme.

It was created in response to a number of food safety scares in the 1990s and the logo on pack was designed to give consumers a clear indication that the product inside was not only safe to eat but had been produced to a good standard.

Now certifying 46,000 farms which produce food worth more than £14.5bn, Red Tractor covers about 75 per cent of UK output.

“The Red Tractor logo is a symbol of trust,” explains CEO Jim Moseley. “Any food carrying the logo is traceable, safe and farmed with care.”

But times change and organisations need to move with consumers.That’s why, this month, Jim is launching a new look for Red Tractor, one which aims to set out the credentials of the food which carries its logo.

The new visual identity addresses a number of challenges the British food and farming industry face – clearly differentiating to consumers the food which has been produced to world-leading standards to ensure that it is safe and fully traceable.

Jim said: “The design reflects the work that Red Tractor has been undertaking to help improve its status and emotional engagement with consumers.”

Drawing on its history of checking British sourced food and drink all the way along its journey from farm to pack, the new logo retains the union flag to signify that the product has been grown, reared, processed and packed in the UK.

The logo will now feature the recognised name of the scheme – Red Tractor – rather than Assured Food Standards (its ownership body).

There is also an updated tractor to modernise its appearance and to bring it into line with the TV advertising campaign which has been running over the past 18 months. The red tractor now sits on a tick- recognised by shoppers as indicating that the product has been checked.

The words ‘certified standards’ clarify what Red Tractor does, and the addition of the heart in the tractors wheel, reflects the care and attention that is taken to produce the food.

The launch comes as new research shows Red Tractor has a higher level of awareness than all other food assurance marques. Eight out of 10 shoppers are aware of the logo and see it as a positive, reassuring on-pack signpost.

Jim said: “While it is great news that almost 80 per cent of British shoppers recognise Red Tractor and see it positively, our research also found that people were uncertain of what sits behind the logo or its benefits.

“Given the great care and attention that Red Tractor and our farmers put into ensuring that the food we eat is safe and fully traceable, we owe it to our members that we improve shoppers’ and diners’ understanding of the scheme.

“We are facing a new watershed moment, with the market staring at huge uncertainty with the ongoing trade negotiations. At this time it is critical we help shoppers to clearly differentiate which food has been produced and checked to world-leading standards from farm to pack – and the simplest way to do this is to look for the Red Tractor and the tick.”