Refreshed Red Tractor scheme ‘strengthens standards’

By Jack Young

The new set of Red Tractor standards will be sent out later this month in packs to farmers and growers who are part of the plan.

Standards are reviewed every three years in line with customer needs and expectations, and the new guidelines relate to areas such as antibiotics and fresh produce.

Philippa Wiltshire, industry and regulatory affairs manager, said: “The Red Tractor logo has to continue to stand for something that consumers believe in if it is to retain its ability to positively affect buying decisions.

“That’s why we go through this process every three years: to make sure that our members are producing what consumers want.”

Recently, antibiotic usage has been inspected at a closer level across all livestock sectors. The new guidelines aim to help producers reduce and make a note of use, in line with recommendations from the alliance for Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA).

The electronic Medicine Book, which was developed by AHDB Pigs, is being used by pig producers to record antibiotic usage, as a provision for the new standards.

Meanwhile, the fresh produce scheme has undergone noteworthy changes, so that UK producers do not fall below food safety parameters.

Wiltshire added: “We have strengthened standards which have been identified as key areas of reputational risk and addressed industry concerns to keep our members ahead of the game.

“We recognise that our new standards will require changes in farm management for some, but we also know that continuing to invest in a robust farm assurance scheme will keep consumers coming back to Red Tractor assured products.”

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