The UK’s Red Tractor Assurance scheme has developed new standards for farmers and growers, following a regular three-yearly review.
The new standards will be sent to participating farmers and growers next month in order to be ready for implementation from October.
Antibiotic use has been a focus of the review and the standards have been strengthened to help producers reduce and record the use of antibiotics in line with current advice from the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA).
Red Tractor said “significant changes” had also been made to its standards governing fresh produce in the wake of food safety scares in horticultural sectors in continental Europe.
“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,” said industry and regulatory affairs manager Philippa Wiltshire. “That’s why we go through this process every three years. 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.”
Launched in 2000 through the collaboration of farmers, food producers and retailers, the Red Tractor scheme now certifies GBP13bn of meat and produce annually.