Red Tractor chair steps down due to backlash over food standards

Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, chair of Red Tractor, has announced she will leave the organisation. Her announcement follows an industry backlash over her failure to back recent Agriculture Bill amendments, intent on protecting British food standards

Last week, peers voted through two amendments to protect UK farmers and consumers from imports produced to lower-standards under future trade deals. Lord Granchester's amendment ensuring future agri-food imports meet the UK's standards was voted through by 282 votes to 244.

Peers also backed Lord Curry's amendment looking to strengthen the remit of the new Trade and Agriculture Commission. Both amendments will now return back to MPs in the House of Commons.

While many Conservative peers supported the amendments, Baroness Neville-Rolfe was not one of them. Therefore, she will leave Red Tractor Assurance at the end of her 3-year term on 12 November 2020.

According to, she said that recent comments suggesting she did not back upholding British food standards were ‘wrong’. “I have always believed and made clear that upholding strong agricultural and food standards is in the best interests of British consumers, farmers and manufacturers. Recent comments suggesting I do not take that view are wrong and have only gained credence by ignoring clear statements by me to the contrary.”

She said UK agricultural and food standards would be ‘even more important post-Brexit’.

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