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Sugar will begin to carry the Little Red Tractor logo following an industry-wide agreement to develop a farm assurance scheme for sugar beet for the start of the 2003/04 harvest.

The NFU, British Sugar, Silver Spoon (the retail business of British Sugar) and Assured Food Standards (AFS) have been working closely to ensure this everyday product carries the widely recognised Little Red Tractor logo.

In the first instance, growers delivering to the Bury St. Edmonds sugar factory, which supplies all sugar for packaging by the adjacent Silver Spoon packaging complex, will operate under an assurance scheme. Other factories will follow in subsequent years, subject to a satisfactory review of the 2003/04 scheme. The ultimate objective would be for all sugar to be produced to the assurance standard.

NFU sugar beet chairman Mike Blacker said, "It means that consumers can have confidence that sugar carrying the logo is produced to high British standards. From a growers' perspective, it shows the industry is embracing farm assurance and the wider benefit it brings."

Assured Food Standards vice chairman Jonathan Tipples said an assurance scheme for sugar will introduce the same crop management principles that feature in the existing AFS-approved crop management schemes.

"Assurance will allow the increasingly familiar Red Tractor logo, widely supported by the major supermarkets, to appear on a major product line enabling shoppers to recognise and choose assured food.

(Information supplied by "Cumbria Farmer", A Cumbrian Newspapers Publication. May 2003.)


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