Former Red Tractor boss wins New Year’s honour

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

David Clarke received a CBE for ‘Services to the British food and farming industry’
David Clarke received a CBE for ‘Services to the British food and farming industry’

Related tags: Red tractor, Agriculture

The 2018 New Year’s Honours list includes former Red Tractor Assurance boss David Clarke.

The organisation’s first chief executive, Clarke received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for “Services to the British food and farming industry.”

Red Tractor Assurance was set up in 2000, to help consolidate the reputation of British food and farming, after it recovered from 10 years of food scares.

Under his 17-year leadership, Red Tractor grew its membership to include 46,000 farm businesses, with £14bn of food now bearing the Red Tractor logo. 

Commenting on his award, Clarke said: “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.”

‘Safe nutritious and affordable food’

Clarke said the honour underlined the Red Tractor scheme’s contribution to ensuring good standards of production across the UK supply chain from farm to retail shelf.

That contribution would grow, as the UK prepared to quit the EU, he added. “The future and especially Brexit will bring new challenges and opportunities for the Red Tractor team but I am confident they will be up to the task. “

Outside work, Clarke has helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity, most notably St Raphael’s Hospice in Sutton. He will receive his award later this year.

Clarke was succeeded as chief executive in May last year by Jim Moseley​; former Food and Drink Federation president and interim director general and Mizkan Euro md.

Services to agricultural science and biotechnology

Meanwhile, Dr Tina Barsby, ceo of Cambridge-based crop science organisation NIAB, received an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) award for services to agricultural science and biotechnology.

The plant geneticist said: “This award is a great honour for me and a tribute to all the colleagues I’ve worked with across the industry over the years. Every day I’m inspired by the work being carried out at NIAB and the essential contribution we are making to help our industry fulfil its potential in food production.”

NIAB Board chairman Jim Godfrey said Barsby was “an outstanding and inspiring scientist who has spent her career ensuring that effective and innovative crop research is translated into practice across farms in the UK and, latterly, in other countries across the world”.

Read the full New Year’s Honours list here​.

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