Red tractor statement on level playing field

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
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:View attachment 999643
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.
The UK Flour Millers statement made me rather angry. Do they think we're simple?

They have a representative on the RT cereals board. They didn't mention that in their statement. They were singing the praises of RT, and you can see they've made their mind up about UK gatekeeper before anyone has even said what it is or how it works.

And they're pretty keen on telling us it's feed grain only. Why? Obvs AIC is just feed, but the individual HC mills can make their own minds up.

They can choose the new method or ask for RT. Up to them. Not up to anyone else.
 
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).


I would suggest that UK Flour Mills and AIC know they are on a sticky wicket and they are looking for RT to provide know how into the wording and circumstances to justify their market manipulation.

They know they are caught out and skirting on the borders of significant regulatory action and fines.
 

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
England
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.
A good idea about writing to MPs.
Can we have a standard letter to send to them?

Along the lines of

"Dear Mr Smith MP

There is a dictatorship regarding Assured Grain in Britain. It is controlled by Red Tractor.

eg
The price could be £235/tonne for wheat in Britain. If you are non-assured (not Red Tractor) it may only be £210/tonne.
Red Tractor does not gain its farmer members any premium, but it does increase their cost of production along with stress - which is not good for a farmer's mental health.

AIC say UK mills must buy Red Tractor wheat to sell assured animal feed.
But they can import grain and add it to other feeds and then sell it as an assured feed.
The imported grain (wheat) doesn't have to jump through all of the red tape hoops that the UK grown wheat has to jump through (at great expense) but can be added to make an "Assured Feed"

This discriminates against UK farmers who are not Red Tractor Farm Assured.

Please support the cause of your local farmers against the bureacracy and expense of Red Tractor

Yours sincerely
Mr Farmer

(Please edit as necessary)
 

B'o'B

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Rutland
The UK Flour Millers statement made me rather angry. Do they think we're simple?

They have a representative on the RT cereals board. They didn't mention that in their statement. They were singing the praises of RT, and you can see they've made their mind up about UK gatekeeper before anyone has even said what it is or how it works.

And they're pretty keen on telling us it's feed grain only. Why? Obvs AIC is just feed, but the individual HC mills can make their own minds up.

They can choose the new method or ask for RT. Up to them. Not up to anyone else.
Every new piece of information I come across I seem to have to say to myself:-
"Don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git!

@Grass And Grain you have been at this a lot longer than me, how have you manage to not turn into a cynical, paranoid old git?
 
A good idea about writing to MPs.


Writing is good.

Far better is meeting with your MP's at their Surgery.

In fact what would be best is large groups of farmers in voting regions grouping up and signing letters - then telephoning the MP's surgery for a meeting.

Whether that means 10s of farmers meeting with the MP or a few representatives I don't know - probably the latter with Covid 19. But we can bring a LOT of pressure to bare on this.
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
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.
"All domestic wheat used by UK millers is assured under the Red Tractor Combinable Crops scheme"

Do they not buy any from Scotland?

They also say they're really happy with the imports, so they won't mind if we assure a central store full of milling wheat in exactly the same way.
 

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
England
Writing is good.

Far better is meeting with your MP's at their Surgery.

In fact what would be best is large groups of farmers in voting regions grouping up and signing letters - then telephoning the MP's surgery for a meeting.

Whether that means 10s of farmers meeting with the MP or a few representatives I don't know - probably the latter with Covid 19. But we can bring a LOT of pressure to bare on this.

That's good, but this is when your local NFU could get involved - but who are the biggest supporters of RT
The NFU 😡
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
Every new piece of information I come across I seem to have to say to myself:-
"Don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git,
don't turn into a cynical, paranoid old git!

@Grass And Grain you have been at this a lot longer than me, how have you manage to not turn into a cynical, paranoid old git?
Keep calm amd carry on.

Mindst you, I got a little bit more vociferous on the FW podcast recording (published tomorrow). Not sure they'll replay those bits.

Hugh Broom is very good. I could hear myself saying "erm" a lot between sentences, but did what I could.
 

Bruce Almighty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
England
Keep calm amd carry on.

Mindst you, I got a little bit more vociferous on the FW podcast recording (published tomorrow). Not sure they'll replay those bits.

Hugh Broom is very good. I could hear myself saying "erm" a lot between sentences, but did what I could.
You're doing great, we all owe you a big drink - or more ?
 
The UK Flour Millers statement made me rather angry. Do they think we're simple?

They have a representative on the RT cereals board. They didn't mention that in their statement. They were singing the praises of RT, and you can see they've made their mind up about UK gatekeeper before anyone has even said what it is or how it works.

And they're pretty keen on telling us it's feed grain only. Why? Obvs AIC is just feed, but the individual HC mills can make their own minds up.

They can choose the new method or ask for RT. Up to them. Not up to anyone else.

What is happening is that they are valuing their relationship with what they see as their peers at a corporate level rather than the people who supply them with the product which allow them to function.

Its arrogance. Classic boardroom shenanigans.

We need to keep the pressure up. Possibly promoting a day of mass non cooperation to gently nudge them into remembering who supplies them and why anyone in their right minds don't like such double standards and dodgy behind the scenes deals
 
"All domestic wheat used by UK millers is assured under the Red Tractor Combinable Crops scheme"

Do they not buy any from Scotland?

They also say they're really happy with the imports, so they won't mind if we assure a central store full of milling wheat in exactly the same way.


Specifically relating to the articles published - are either of these organisations going to respond well to a Freedom of Information request concerning correspondance and meetings relating to the articles ?
 
I would suggest that UK Flour Mills and AIC know they are on a sticky wicket and they are looking for RT to provide know how into the wording and circumstances to justify their market manipulation.

They know they are caught out and skirting on the borders of significant regulatory action and fines.

There have been quite a few representations to the CMA on the position and some legal chat. It's ropey but the task is proving illegality.
 

MrNoo

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Cirencester
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.
It’s utter bollo*ks,
I had proteins of 15% and they were trying to dock me money for them being too high last year.
You are however right when you say the whole market is bent, this has been shown to me this year being unassured, speaking to the lorry drivers and trader.
 

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