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It’s time to introduce Farmer Clarkson to our Green Tractor Scheme

Rather than the Red Tractor proposed ‘Greener Farms Commitment (GFC)’ bolt-on  

Jeremy Clarkson may think he ‘doesn’t need a green tractor badge’, according to his Farmer Clarkson column this weekend, but if he was indeed talking about our Green Tractor Scheme rather than the Red Tractor proposed ‘Greener Farms Commitment (GFC)’ bolt-on, his headline may well have read very differently.  

The debate and uncertainty surrounding Red Tractor’s proposed introduction of an ‘environmental module’ is not new news. 

Farmer Clarkson called out Red Tractor’s ‘out of the blue’ new proposals for going green in his column for The Sunday Times this weekend (Sunday, December 23), stating ‘I don’t need a ‘green’ tractor badge’. A badge, we hasten to add, that is far removed and not related in any way to our own Green Tractor Scheme. 

As Farmer Clarkson says: “It [Red Tractor] unveiled a scheme [Greener Farms Commitment (GFC)] whereby farmers would have to prove that they were not only clean and well organised but as eco-friendly as a butterfly.” 

The announcement has divided opinion across the industry, UK-wide. The NFU took to social media denouncing any involvement, with NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw posting on X to say: “The NFU has not been involved with the development of the bolt-on module.”

And while Red Tractor has since taken a foot off the gas to have a ‘rethink’, what has stayed with us from Clarkson’s column is the sentiment that farmers simply don’t need more to do but rather reliable support in place to help make their job, and any environmental wins along the way, that bit easier. 

He said: “The vast majority of farmers, especially tenant farmers, are not rich. And they’re getting unricher by the day. The grants and the subsidies get smaller. The prices go down. And the government demands get more preposterous. And still, the eco-squeeze keeps on coming.”

And it is that eco-squeeze that our GTS has been created to help alleviate. Founded in 2020 by four agricultural plastic recycling specialists, GTS was built on a collective need to make positive change, by a team who all shared the same ambition - to provide a standard to the UK agricultural industry, and the ability to recycle all agricultural plastics.

After working within the agricultural waste management industry for years, our founding members took a stand after recognising the need for education to promote sustainability, recycling and awareness within the farming community. 

This idea promptly solidified in the establishment of the Green Tractor Scheme.

With the ambition to ensure all agricultural plastic waste is recycled by 2030, the Green Tractor Scheme is actively setting the standard and recruiting every agricultural business to be responsible and accountable for the part they have to play in changing the environment and the industry for the better.

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