Tacon to step down as Red Tractor chair

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Christine Tacon is to step down as Red Tractor chair
Christine Tacon is to step down as Red Tractor chair

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Christine Tacon is to step down as Red Tractor chair to avoid a potential conflict of interest related to her recent appointment to the board of retailer The Co-op.

The former Groceries Code adjudicator was elected to the board by Co-op members last weekend and had previously headed the group’s farming operations between 2000 and 2012.

While previous Red Tractor chairs have held other positions in the food industry simultaneously, recent reservations over supermarket power in general and general lack of trust in the assurance programme from some quarters sparked Tacon’s decision to relinquish her position.

Mutual agreement

“Aware of these concerns, I raised my possible appointment proactively with Red Tractor’s Ownership Body and we mutually agreed it would be better for me to step down from Red Tractor if I got the Co-op role,”​ said Tacon.

“I would like to make it very clear that this is not a move I welcome in any way. I would have far preferred to carry on supporting Red Tractor at such a critical point. I am also confident I could have executed both roles without compromising either organisation.

“However, I do not want to risk giving oxygen to those intent on criticising Red Tractor or for this to be the cause of any negative publicity.”

Search for new chair

Tacon has offered to stay on in her role as chair at Red Tractor’s discretion until a new or interim chair is appointed.

“Despite current bumps in the road, Red Tractor is a unique and valuable asset to us all, from farm to fork,”​ she concluded.

“There are issues that need addressing, and believe me, this is happening. But it is incumbent on us all to see the enormous opportunities and value presented by Red Tractor and work together to ensure it is there for us all, for the future.”

Meanwhile, in other appointment news,​ European bakery business Baker & Baker has appointed a new UK CCO, whilst cereal and seed manufacturer Silvery Tweed announces technical manager.

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