Red tractor statement on level playing field

MrNoo

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Cirencester
It also seems possible that a mill could 'lose' the provenance of a pile of wheat, assess it as 'of unknown origin' and pass it as assured subject to necessary testing.
Well that happens already daily with imports, flour made with both UK and imported wheats are then sold with the poxy RT logo pertaining to be 100% RT. That's why the whole charade is utter rubbish
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
BASE UK Member
Yes the law applies but who checks if there's no RT audit?
Lets face it a lot more farms got away with a lot more dodgy s**t before RT than they did with it (I used to work for one of them)

Anyway I just find it interesting that the group of farmers that have the easiest time with RT and regulations are the group kicking up the most fuss.
I don't see your buyers being comfortable with no assurance but maybe I'm wrong.
Can you compete on price with imported feed wheat and barley?
There are no end of government bodies inspecting farms.

I have had 3 sheep inspections in 3 years once, one of which was trading standards and the other two were the rpa or defra. In the last 3 years, I have had One apha livestock inspection and one trading standards feed inspection. I kind of think these are the ones that matter, meanwhile you can always get your stickers from the dead tractor.

Farm profitability is under threat, not just from subsidies reducing. Farm assurance creates extra work, extra cost and no gain for farmers and access to markets is controlled on spurious grounds for uk farmers but not imports. The dead tractor seems to be costing UK ag around £17m, AHDB £10 or £11m, Nroso, one or two million. For a small farm it's around £1000 in extra cost.

Read this week's private eye about agricultural inputs going up by over 20%. I'll try and post.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Yes the law applies but who checks if there's no RT audit?
Lets face it a lot more farms got away with a lot more dodgy s**t before RT than they did with it (I used to work for one of them)

Anyway I just find it interesting that the group of farmers that have the easiest time with RT and regulations are the group kicking up the most fuss.
I don't see your buyers being comfortable with no assurance but maybe I'm wrong.
Can you compete on price with imported feed wheat and barley?

All of the stuff in Farm Assurance that has any relevance to crop (or animal) safety is already a legal requirement. Non-assured produce is no less safe.

That ‘dodgy s**t’ can just as easily happen whether assured or not, as anyone doing it would be unlikely to record it. They could still be breaking the law though, FA or not.

Everything RT insist on above those legal requirements is just window dressing, adding nothing to food safety. Does the trade value that window dressing? I doubt it, or they would insist on similar provenance on all imported produce too.

We already have to compete on price with imported cereals.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
What he said
...but is a bit like a stuck record and shouldn't need repeating so @kiwi pom should read a bit more than write it seems.
another thing tied in with assurance schemes is that would healthier for arable and mixed farming to get away from such reliance on agronomists as there is these days .
 
Location
Devon

RED TRACTOR BACKS “LEVEL PLAYING FIELD” FOR UK FARMERS​


And whilst the UK farmers are on the level playing field, all the other members of the food supply chain are in the stands enjoying hospitality laid on by Red Tractor,all having a good laugh watching us running around trying to pay for it all.
As we fail, they simply bring on some subs from abroad.
 

roscoe erf

Member
Livestock Farmer
actually all i want is a can of lager and a cheese and pickle sandwich sitting by the logburner reading a good book.
i'm rapidly growing tired of just about everything.

"People are there own worst enemies."

come to think of it Ill put the book down for an hour because the last episode of Shetland is on.
and it was a belter
 
The flour millers statement is not true.

In short, the level of control and inspection applied to imported wheat is much higher than for UK Red Tractor assured grain, and there is consequently a heavier cost burden on imports. The cost of tests and certification alone are higher than the Red Tractor membership fee, but the suppliers still have the costs of demonstrating legal compliance, insurance and record keeping required for a defence of due diligence. Red Tractor certification and inspection means that these costs are avoided by UK growers, giving them a competitive advantage. Additionally, if the Red Tractor scheme was to be wound down it is likely that in today’s marketplace multiple schemes would be established, restricting UK growers’ ability to supply different end users unless they signed up to more than one scheme, with additional administration and audit burdens as a result.

In fact we don't even have any clarity on what the tests and certification are because most of us suspect they are not done. Its been a secret for a long time. If the control and standards are higher how come no one has been able to tell us what they are?

Furthermore why is it up to the Flour millers union to decide that farmers must pay a private company to be able to sell milling wheat. They are asking for legal compliance, insurance and record keeping - that is not a problem, a farmer can do this for no cost if the miller wanted it as a condition of sale but the miller should pay a premium for extra demands. The market for "assurance" should be opened up and not just the remit of one anti competitive company sitting on millions nabbed under co-ercion


That Millers statement is a lie.

Imported Canadian grain is grown using Chemicals which are banned in the UK. If a UK farmer grew Wheat using those chemicals they would not only fail RT assurance they would be prosecuted by the Environment Agency and probably the Food Standards.

In fact I'd like to know what these "Super Duper" tests are given they seem to have failed in identifiaction of banned chemicals for at least 10 years that I know of.

The last statement about "administration" shows a complete lack of understanding of the regulatory framework UK farmers work in. Our products are legal because we can only buy legal chemicals. Imports are grown using banned chemicals and GM which also banned in the UK giving those producers a significant competative advantage.

MP's need to be involved in this, it's beyond our abilities as individuals to to bring regulators to bare on these organisations.

They setup a racket based on falsehoods.
 
@Grass And Grain do you think based on the responses in that RT Assurance article we have a case to bring to the Competition and Markets Authority ?


We have a blatant admission of a closed shop by RT and a denial from the Millers in total disregard of UK Farmers regulatory framework - in fact they abuse that framework deliberately and then call UK produce of lower quality.

Shouldn't we all be lobbying our MP's ? Pretty sure we should be able to get 10s of MP's looking into this issue ?
 

Andy26

Moderator
Location
Northants
That Millers statement is a lie.

Imported Canadian grain is grown using Chemicals which are banned in the UK. If a UK farmer grew Wheat using those chemicals they would not only fail RT assurance they would be prosecuted by the Environment Agency and probably the Food Standards.

In fact I'd like to know what these "Super Duper" tests are given they seem to have failed in identifiaction of banned chemicals for at least 10 years that I know of.

The last statement about "administration" shows a complete lack of understanding of the regulatory framework UK farmers work in. Our products are legal because we can only buy legal chemicals. Imports are grown using banned chemicals and GM which also banned in the UK giving those producers a significant competative advantage.

MP's need to be involved in this, it's beyond our abilities as individuals to to bring regulators to bare on these organisations.

They setup a racket based on falsehoods.
That's a very good point, I suspect we already know these super duper tests are non existent.

The more you read about it, the more it seems the anti-competitive behaviour should be reported to the CMA


The AIC has been acting like a cartel prohibiting its members from buying non RT UK grain but actively facilitating the import of unassured grain to help control the market price.
 

Andy26

Moderator
Location
Northants
@Grass And Grain do you think based on the responses in that RT Assurance article we have a case to bring to the Competition and Markets Authority ?


We have a blatant admission of a closed shop by RT and a denial from the Millers in total disregard of UK Farmers regulatory framework - in fact they abuse that framework deliberately and then call UK produce of lower quality.

Shouldn't we all be lobbying our MP's ? Pretty sure we should be able to get 10s of MP's looking into this issue ?
Thinking exactly the same at the same time!
 
Thinking exactly the same at the same time!


Regardless of what happens now this has got to be done IMHO.

A carefree "Oh oops" is not going to cut it. We need some heads at play in the process. So that means we have to interface with MP's so we hopefully can get information from either the horses mouth or even bums on seats within the investigation.

Need some tactical thinking on the process and how to get in the right place at the right time.


In fact a good starting point would be the tonnage traded outside of assurance and the lost revenue mulitplied by the years of market loss.
 

B'o'B

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Rutland
It can't just be be that finds the NFU and RT statements somewhat disingenuous. They must take us for idiots, they have both done a sharp about turn because of the hard work of @Grass And Grain and others.
Only last week they both organisations thought RT was the best and should apply universally to the whole of UK Ag and that there was no problems at all. Essentially the message was go away you irritating pleb.
Yet this week they seem to have been working tirelessly for weeks to secure a level playing field for UK farmers. I remind them that it was the NFU and the British Retail Consortium that founded the Red Tractor Company. And it is the Red Tractor that has consistently and systematically worked for 20 years to create the un-level playing field and the NFU seem to have (at best) turned a blind eye to their Frankinstine child monster as it grew more and more unreasonable.
Both these announcements are pathetic spin doctoring on a grand scale.
NFU if you wanted to salvage any integrity from this you should have said you had listened to members concerns on this not put this on your stand at CropTec:
tempImageEzTBAV.jpg

This is a complete lie. You have not been calling for more transparency on import standards and equivalence. You have been telling the people who have been calling for such things to shut up and crawl back into their hole. We are not as stupid as you seem to think we are. This sort of statement at this late stage make you look silly and pathetic. I imagine the ink was barely dry on that poster when it was put up given the conversation I had with one of your senior staff on Monday of this week.
We need industry bodies to represent us like never before right now, I want to support the NFU, I really do. This is our time of need. But your actions are making it extremely difficult for me to trust you anymore.
 

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
England
That's a very good point, I suspect we already know these super duper tests are non existent.

The more you read about it, the more it seems the anti-competitive behaviour should be reported to the CMA


The AIC has been acting like a cartel prohibiting its members from buying non RT UK grain but actively facilitating the import of unassured grain to help control the market price.
I know what you mean but is the correct term dictatorship rather than cartel ? (Which involves a group)
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
@Grass And Grain do you think based on the responses in that RT Assurance article we have a case to bring to the Competition and Markets Authority ?


We have a blatant admission of a closed shop by RT and a denial from the Millers in total disregard of UK Farmers regulatory framework - in fact they abuse that framework deliberately and then call UK produce of lower quality.

Shouldn't we all be lobbying our MP's ? Pretty sure we should be able to get 10s of MP's looking into this issue ?
I don't know. What I do know is they were in a meeting together the other week. I'd be surprised if decisions were made independently, but then RT's statememt is suggesting they are asking AIC to change their rules.

I'd say RT benefit financially from the AIC rules, and AIC benefit financially from the RT rules. And farmers end up paying for it all.

Back in Feb I asked AIC if they would change their rules. iirc I've got an email where they said they'd have to consult at the various fothcoming farm assurance meetings. That suggests to me they don't make their own decisions independently, but are influenced by the farm assurance bodies. Don't know if that's perfectly reasonable (or not).

Will be interesting to see if they allow reasonable access for UK growers through a sensible method that works for UK farm sizes. Or will they offer something which is clearly uneconomic for small farmers to do, and then say "oh dear, that's rather expensive, you can do that if you like, or the alternative is RT."
 
Millers "Imported Wheat Assurance".


"Wheat imported by UK millers is generally more expensive than UK supplies, because of its protein characteristics and high protein content. At end October 2021 AHDB was quoting a delivered price for UK bread wheat in Northamptonshire of £225 per tonne; in the same week, German E wheat – the type mainly imported by millers – was quoted at £265 per tonne, US spring wheat about £300 and Canadian wheat was around £350 per tonne. Not surprisingly, therefore, millers prefer to maximise use of home-grown wheat provided it is of the right technical standard and comes with the necessary level of assurance."


Now I know we've grown Wheat WAY above 13% Protein, I think @Clive also touched on this in a post I seem to remember talked about growing high protein Wheat.

UK farmers can and DO grow high protein wheat.

The question is - who is restricting the market so that UK farmers are not getting £265 to £350 a tonne ?

The UK markets is disfunctional and broken, some might say corrupt.
 
We've been well and truly had.
What is particularly disturbing is that we all trusted these people but it's been nothing more than deception on a massive scale. We could just put it all down to experience or take the other tack and take advantage of the wind shift.


I think if they have manipulated the market then they all need to be fined heavily by the CMA.

RT Assurance should be closed as it's blatantly unfit for purpose.
 

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