Red Tractor founder awarded CBE  

David Clarke, a founding member of Red Tractor Assurance, has been honoured with a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Set up in 2000 after the reputation of British food and farming had been hit by a decade of food scares, Mr Clarke was the organisation’s first chief executive and led the scheme for 17 years.

During his tenure Red Tractor grew from nothing to the UK’s leading assurance scheme with 46,000 farm businesses in membership and £14bn of food bearing the Red Tractor logo.

“Providing people with safe, nutritious and affordable food is an enterprise with fundamental importance and it has been a privilege to work in food and farming for nearly five decades,” Mr Clarke said.

“My position with the Red Tractor scheme in the latter part of my career was especially rewarding.

“I think this honour only serves to underline the importance of this national initiative to ensure good standards of production across the UK supply chain from farm to retail shelf.”

Armed with a small budget and a handful of staff, Mr Clarke grew Red Tractor to a business built on transparency, honesty and reliability.

Privately, Mr Clarke works tirelessly in his local community collecting and raising thousands of pounds for charity, most notably St Raphael’s Hospice in Sutton.

A CBE is the highest Order of the British Empire honour the Queen can bestow and Mr Clarke will receive his accolade in the New Year.

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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.