"Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and he can sleep ’til noon." Mark Twain
The uplift in cattle prices of recent weeks slowed in week ended 11th May read more
With more new season lambs entering the market, the dynamics of the trade have started to change read more
Provisional data for April milk deliveries of approximately 1,111m litres are 93m litres (7.7%) down on the previous year read more
In April, the DAPP averaged 160.9p/kg, almost 4p up on the month. At the same time, the average retail price came down by a small amount read more
The GB weekly average price fell by £7.68/t to £295.35/t and the free-buy average fell by £22.02/t to £368.39/t. read more
The first USDA estimates for world production in 2013-14 forecast record maize and wheat production, citing larger planted areas and a rebound in yields from the US (maize) and the Former Soviet Union (wheat) read more
The USDA has released its first soyabean supply and demand estimates for the new season read more
UK malting barley export prices are at €245/t FOB (spring, South Coast) w/e 11th April. read more
The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on the activity of UK hatcheries and poultry slaughterhouses. read more
USDA’s latest quarterly stocks report, released on 28th September, estimated US maize stocks (at 1st September) at 25.1m t, down 12% on the same point in 2011 and the lowest since 2004. read more
Driving Red Tractor’s consumer awareness
Chris Lyddon asks Red Tractor head of marketing Richard Cattell about consumers’ perception of the logo and how he plans to make them more aware of its values
“Our goals have been pretty constant over the past 10 or 11 years,” says Richard Cattell, head of marketing for the Red Tractor food assurance scheme. “We are there to develop, maintain and instigate a set of technical assurance standards, the things that a farmer or the licensee of Red Tractor has to demonstrate they are doing.
“It’s there to first and foremost support supply chain due diligence, but it’s not just that,” he says. “It’s there to develop the standards of agriculture within the UK. We don’t just look at what the standards are today, we look at what those standards need to be for tomorrow.
Those standards have to be translated into values that a consumer sees as important and therefore changes or modifies their purchasing behaviour. “That’s why we have the Red Tractor logo, which is on about £11 billion worth of food and beverage products in the UK,” he points out.
The Red Tractor is all about letting the consumer make an informed decision easily and Mr Cattell sees his job as to encourage consumer preference by demonstrating the values behind the Red Tractor logo.
“While we’re first and foremost about quality assured food, our logo obviously has a Union Flag in it. With the logo you know that the product you’re eating has been farmed, processed and packed in the UK. Origin is a big thing from a consumer perspective, people want to know where their food comes from.”
There are about 23 million primary shoppers, the person who does the main shop in the household, in the UK.
“We know through a YouGov survey we did at the beginning of the year that about 55% of those primary shoppers recognise the Red Tractor mark, which is by far the largest recognition number in terms of other assurance marks. Does that translate into what people do when they go out and they buy their food? We know, again through that survey, that a fifth of all primary shoppers actively search for the Red Tractor mark on all or some of their food purchases,” says Mr Cattell.
That, he adds, does not just refer to unprocessed products. “We’re finding more and more that with branded manufacturers, Dairy Crest for example with Country Life, own-label retailer brands with regard to dairy and cheese, as well as processed products such as sausages, we have good visibility.
“The value companies get out of it is obviously driven by their own research into what their consumers want and provenance is part of it, but also people want to know that the cereal they eat, or the sausage they eat, or the cheese they are buying, or the butter they’re spreading on their toast every morning, has been produced to a high standard.
“We also found that within the food service arena we are getting a lot of interest,” Mr Cattell says. “For example, the majority of the large contract caterers in the UK are Red Tractor licensed. The reason why they do that is because they see it as a way of demonstrating to their clients that their sourcing and procurement policies are to a high standard and the food they’re putting on their clients’ plates is of a high standard.”
As well as getting more Red Tractor logos on more packs, the job is also about making sure it is in the right place, so consumers see it.
“My ideal is that the Red Tractor logo should be on the front of the pack,” says Mr Cattell. “There are some retailers who do that very well and there are some retailers that we need to work with in terms of developing that. There isn’t an easy answer.”
Bad economic times have made consumers think more about value, he says, but “Red Tractor hasn’t seen a negative effect driven by the recession. You have to remember we’re on a very large range of products.”
Price, he believes, is important, but it is not the only factor. “Consumers are still looking for things other than price – they want values as well as value. I think that’s where Red Tractor benefits. We can demonstrate that while the products we are on are value for money, there are values behind those products.”
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