Sir, – I wonder what the 1275 Red Tractor farmers in Scotland or its equivalent schemes – such as QMS – make of Ruth Watson’s comments in your piece, 'Brexit Danger for Scotland the Brand' in your February 13 issue?

In one breath, she said Red Tractor was 'poorly executed' and 'little supervised', and in the next she said Scotland has 'rigorous and internationally-respected farm assured schemes'.

Does Ruth realise that the biggest farm assurance schemes in Scotland and England mutually recognise each other? In fact, both use the same assessment body to carry out checks against their standards during their inspections.

That means these fantastic beef, lamb, pork, poultry, crops, fresh produce and dairy products produced on assured Scottish farms will be meeting the same standards as those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It should be recognised that Red Tractor-assured Scottish farms enjoy a reduced audit burden as well. Earned recognition agreements negotiated by Red Tractor with government agencies, such as the Food Standards Agency, means those farms will receive fewer inspections.

Fresh produce growers who sell internationally through the Global GAP scheme and Tesco fresh produce suppliers also have no bolt-on assessments to manage.

We are big believers in telling consumers where their food comes from and how it was produced – that’s why we spent £1.5m on a television advert last year and will do so again this year. We use the strapline ‘traceable, safe and farmed with care’ because it is the standards which underpin consumer trust.

We want to drive more customers to food from assured farms, regardless of whether it is produced in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Ruth might want to think about the wider implications of discrediting schemes such as Red Tractor. It completely undermines her own objective.

Jim Moseley

Chief executive,

Red Tractor Assurance.