Assured Food Standards announces new chairman

Former Minister and Tesco executive Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe has been appointed as the new chairman of Assured Food Standards (AFS), the company which owns and operates Red Tractor Assurance.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe will begin her new role on Monday, November 20, replacing Jim Moseley, following his move from non-executive chairman to chief executive of Red Tractor Assurance.

She grew up on a mixed farm in Wiltshire and was a government minister, most recently at the Treasury, from 2014 until June this year. More than 15 years of her career has been spent at Tesco where she was on the main board from 2006 to 2013.

Before Tesco, Baroness Neville-Rolfe was a civil servant serving in 10 Downing Street and in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food where, among other things, she was the lead official on the 1990 Food Safety Act.

Prior to becoming a minister in 2014 she also held a number of non-executive directorships including positions at ITV, PWC, 2 Sisters Food Group and large German wholesaler, Metro.

She was also president of EuroCommerce – the European retailer and wholesaler organisation – from 2012 to 2014.

Terry Jones, director general of the NFU, which owns AFS, said: “Lucy brings a wealth of relevant experience to this role at a crucial time for Red Tractor.

“Moreover, her strong links with the food industry, government and understanding of farming mean that she is uniquely placed to oversee and support the future development of this flagship for British food.”

Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “I am delighted to be returning to an industry I love.

“I have watched the Red Tractor Assurance scheme grow to become a hugely important part of food and agriculture in the UK.

“The Red Tractor logo must remain the mark of quality, safety and traceability. I will use my experience in government and in the private sector to maximise the value of the scheme to producers and consumers.”

AFS is an independent body owned by the food chain and is responsible for managing and promoting the Red Tractor Assurance scheme and the consumer logo.

Suffolk farmer Andrew Blenkiron continues in his role as vice chairman.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.