The NFU has appointed consultants Campbell Tickell to complete the independent review into the governance of Red Tractor, following its unpopular decision to try and introduce a new environmental module. The consultancy advises charitable, not-for-profit and public sector organisations.
The review will establish Red Tractor’s decision-making procedures and its transparency; examine who is consulted by Red Tractor in its development of standards and look at the balance of this feedback, and how Red Tractor engages with stakeholders. Having examined the effectiveness of these processes, it will identify any obstacles which need addressing. Through interviews and survey work, the review team will speak to a cross-section of those involved across the Red Tractor process, including farmer representatives, to determine how those processes work currently.
In late January, the emerging findings of that review will be presented to NFU Council and the Red Tractor Ownership Body which has agreed to own the findings of the review and also approved the terms of reference. The final report should be made available in mid-February.
In early November, Red Tractor chair Christine Tacon announced that the assurance body would not progress with the Greener Farms Commitment or any new standards until the NFU’s independent review of governance is completed. “The views of our members are very important, and we are sorry that we have been slow to understand them fully,” Tacon said.