The number of primary shoppers who say they will trade up and buy Red Tractor food instead of cheaper alternatives has jumped by 1.4million following the assurance scheme’s autumn advertising campaign.

An eight-week programme of activity spearheaded by the organisation’s first ever TV advert began in September with the British public polled by YouGov before and after the campaign.

As well as the spike in purchasing intent, the number of shoppers associating the logo with ‘traceable food from farms to pack’ has nearly doubled to 62%.

The assurance scheme’s chief executive Jim Moseley said the results were fantastic, adding that this is “just the start” of a prolonged campaign to enhance the reputation of the logo.

But he warned farmers that the only way the scheme could maintain its hard-earned integrity was if assured farms remained 100% compliant 365 days of the year.

Mr Moseley said: “We can immediately see a direct benefit to our members through the sheer number of people who say they will now choose Red Tractor over a non-assured product.

“This is just the start and we will continue to enhance the reputation of our world-leading assurance scheme.

“We need to do this together. We need our members to maintain Red Tractor’s standards every day of the week to show consumers that we have something robust they can trust and buy into.”

Market research has already shown that shoppers are twice as likely to buy Red Tractor food and drink when they know what the logo stands for.

To drive up understanding of the scheme’s standards, the animated television advert used the strapline ‘safe, traceable and farmed with care’.

The number of shoppers who said the logo will make them choose a Red Tractor product over the cheapest one rose from 36% before the campaign in September to 41% after it finished in November.

The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said the five percentage point lift equates to an additional 1.4million shoppers.

Mr Moseley said: “This campaign is a building block as we bid to become the flagship for British food and farming.

“Increasing confidence in Red Tractor is vital, particularly as we approach Brexit.”

Red Tractor is planning to run another campaign in 2019 to maintain momentum.

Details are yet to be finalised but the objective of increasing consumer understanding remains pivotal and all activity will be focused on achieving this goal.

Television, print and social media will all play a role in delivering a more in-depth understanding of the scheme and its standards.

Red Tractor farmers react to the news.

Livestock farmer

Surrey beef farmer Hugh Broom said: “Farm assurance is all about consumers having confidence in the logo when they see it on the shelf and knowing that it’s been produced to a certain standard.

“We all work so hard to do the very best we can on our farms and anyone who breaks the rules is not only risking their own business but the reputation of an entire farming industry which has been built on the standards Red Tractor lays down.

“We need Red Tractor to underpin everything we do, we need it to tell consumers both here and abroad about the great job we are doing and we need every farmer to do their bit and ensure the scheme is not undermined.”

Arable farmer

Buckinghamshire arable farmer Neal Mcintosh said: “Consumers need to understand what the logo means and the results of this advertising campaign show they are more likely to buy a Red Tractor product once they know about the standards behind it.

“As farmers we are working very hard to produce food that people can trust is produced to some of the highest standards in the world. Red Tractor helps to promote this.

“We must continue this momentum but also ensure that we are maintaining the high standards that consumers clearly buy into. If we aren’t complying to the standards we undermine the good work that’s being done to promote the scheme.”

Pig farmer

Dorset pig farmer Robert Lasseter said: “The Red Tractor supply chain, to which I have belonged since its inception, has proved itself and goes from strength to strength. It is vital to my business and I couldn’t trade without it.

“I find it extraordinary how many people I still speak to that don’t know about Red Tractor’s importance to them in delivering healthy, safe food, produced to the exacting scheme standards that are rigorously audited, so it’s really encouraging to find out that through Red Tractor’s investment in this TV advert another 1.4m shoppers are changing their shopping habits.

“That is a really positive start; there is a lot to build on and enormous scope for increasing awareness among our customers.

“With the winds of change that will alter future food trading patterns in the near future it’s imperative that Red Tractor enables us to stand out in the increasingly competitive food market. Our prosperity depends on it.”