Assured Food Standards (AFS), which manages the Red Tractor Schemes, has appointed Professor Guy Poppy to its board as scientific adviser. He replaces founding chief executive David Clarke who is stepping down from the board.

Prof Poppy is senior Professor at the University of Southampton, researching global food security. He is also director of a new £47.5 million Strategic Priorities Fund research programme focused on transforming the UK food system. Previous roles include the chief scientific adviser post at the Food Standards Agency and a principal scientific officer at Rothamsted Research.

“This is a critically important time for Red Tractor to demonstrate strong leadership in protecting the integrity of the food chain and British agricultural standards,” notes Red Tractor chair Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe. “Our standards are the bedrock of the farming industry – it is our duty to understand the implications of any changes in approach to the science of food production and farming. I am confident that Guy’s experience and skills will help us to navigate this process safely.”

Mr Clarke was Assured Food Standards’ chief executive from its formation in 2000 until his retirement 17 years later when Chris Moseley assumed the role, although he remained on the board as science director.