Red Tractor is urging members to update their contingency plans to ensure farming duties can be fulfilled if farmers or staff fall ill.
Red Tractor, which announced last week that it was suspending physical inspections due to the coronavirus outbreak, has today contacted members with updated guidance to answer some of the questions raised by members in response to the fast-moving situation.
“With the possibility of changes to contracts, staff shortages, issues with transport or supplies, we appreciate you may face an extremely challenging few months ahead,” the message to members said.
“It is critically important you have your up-to-date contingency plan in place, so that you are able to ensure all farming duties are carried out, including safeguarding the welfare of your animals should you, your family or your staff fall ill.”
Red Tractor has launched a Covid-19 Hub on its website, you can find it here, and is urging members to familiarise themselves with the guidance, which we will be updated as the situation evolves in the coming months.
There is a new update for Pig Scheme Members which covers some frequently asked questions, including around quarterly vet visits, which can be viewed here.
“Throughout this time of unprecedented challenges facing the industry, shoppers are relying on farmers, food companies and the wider industry to continue as normal wherever possible,” Red Tractor said.
“Every member has a role to play to ensure people have access to safe and responsibly sourced food. We can protect the integrity of the food chain, by continuing to uphold the high standards of the scheme, which are based on the key principles of food safety, traceability, animal welfare and environmental protection.
“Be assured, we will continue to monitor government advice and review our processes to address all significant risks, following all good hygiene precautions and social distancing guidelines, as well as any local measures.”