Red Tractor Week highlights increasing importance of food quality assurance on menus

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

Orchid Pubs has the Red Tractor Plaque displayed by the main entrance at each of its venues that has a carvery
Orchid Pubs has the Red Tractor Plaque displayed by the main entrance at each of its venues that has a carvery
With Red Tractor Week currently underway, a new survey from the not-for-profit organisation has revealed that over half of diners (56 per cent) now look for its symbol when eating out.

The logo, which guarantees food safety, quality and traceability and gives a sign of origin, is currently used by the likes of Nando’s, Zizzi and the Orchid Pub Group.

Red Tractor Week aims to showcase exactly what the logo means to consumers and restaurant and pub groups are showing support through in-store activity, special promotions and social media.

“The Red Tractor logo is a sign of food produced to good standards of farming, food production, environment and animal welfare,” said Richard Cattell, head of marketing at Red Tractor, which surveyed 2080 British families. 

“The survey reveals that shoppers not only look out for a logo which represents quality, but over half of those surveyed said that when eating out, they would like to see the Red Tractor logo to demonstrate the food has been produced to good standards of farming and food production and as a guarantee of origin.

“We’re half way there.  Consumers want a guarantee both in and out of the home that the food they are eating is of good quality standard.”

Case study: Orchid Pubs

Wayne Penfold, marketing manager of Orchid Pubs’ Great British Carvery and Classic Carvery & Dragon brands, told BigHospitality: “Since our conception in 2006, we’ve taken the idea of provenance quite seriously, maintaining value for money but also offer the best quality produce that we can.

“Because the carvery is the major footfall driver for us, we’ve made sure that all of our meats are red tractor farm assured, and the logo features in the menus. We also have the Red Tractor Plaque displayed by the main entrance at each of our pubs that has a carvery.

“Red Tractor is obviously a signal for quality, welfare and provenance so it was really important for us to work with them as part of our development process. It’s really reassuring for our customers and the fact that more and more people now recognise the Red Tractor symbol is really reassuring for us too.”

Food provenance and the sourcing of ingredients have been in the spotlight of late; earlier this year BigHospitality reported that the Government is urging restaurants to more widely adopt country of origin labelling and has said many caterers are still not providing enough information on the provenance of their food. 

Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice made an appeal to chefs and restaurateurs through a letter to the British Hospitality Association,​in which he argued that consumers are increasingly demanding information on where the main ingredients in the dishes they order come from.

Inspiring chefs...

“With the economy the way it is, people are more geared around supporting local produce and the media have helped generate an extra interest in it,” added Penfold. “ You've got the likes of Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who are really banging the drum for sustainable produce and British food - it’s become an important part of customers’ buying habits.”

Red Tractor Week has also had the support of the wholesaler industry, with the likes of Brakes, 3663 and Reynolds running various initiatives and case studies of the food they sell.

The Union Flag in the Red Tractor logo provides an independently verified guarantee to consumers of the product’s provenance and origin and shows the food is fully traceable back to British farms. Twelve billion pounds’ worth of food now carries the Red Tractor logo every year and it is available in supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and cafes as well as schools and hospitals.

For more information on Red Tractor Week, including a downloadable marketing toolkit for your foodservice business, visit www.redtractor.org.uk/RedTractorWeek2012.

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1 comment

Surprised that it's only 56%!

Posted by Matt Page,

With all the food scares that there have been over recent years, salmonella in eggs, mad cow disease, etc I'm surprised that many more people don't demand the higher food quality standards promoted by Red Tractor... there's a video that explains who they are here for anyone interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_c-uAluEuo

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