Red Tractor is encouraging farmers to take part in a consultation which will look at how to develop the organisations farm standards.
The consultation consists of six proposals on how the standards should look across the scheme’s six sectors: beef and lamb, poultry, pigs, dairy, fresh produce and combinable crops and sugar beet.
The proposals have been developed over 12 months and at every step of the process, representatives from across the food chain, including farming organisations, farmers, vets, processors and retailers, have been involved in drawing up the amendments.
The organisation is seeking input from across the industry before finalising its proposition of what the schemes standards will be from November 2021.
“Farmers have been an intrinsic part of the process in drawing up the proposed new standards, but now it is over to the membership and stakeholders to have their say.”
Red Tractor CEO, Jim Moseley, said: “We are a proven world leader in food chain assurance, but we cannot rest on our laurels.
“Red Tractor is recognised as a symbol of British food quality but to maintain this, our standards must continue to evolve with the times, to ensure they address changes in legislation, industry practice and reflect the emerging issues on shoppers’ minds.
“At a time of ever-increasing scrutiny, preserving the public’s trust in UK agriculture and the Red Tractor logo has never been more important.
“These proposals strive to strike a delicate balance which protects and promotes our members, reassures consumers and customers, while acknowledges the implications of the challenges that the industry faces with future trade deals and the agricultural transition plan.”
The proposed amendments tabled by Red Tractor are primarily about streamlining, legislative compliance and responding to change. These include simplifying some of the requirements for farmers to drive greater understanding and compliance, and rationalising standards which are common across multiple sectors, providing improved clarity for both farmers and their assessors.
Red Tractor says it has also listened to British consumers and the recommendations made in a review of the scheme by Dr Jonathan Birnie in 2019, which identified limitations in the current standards around animal and worker welfare and environmental protection.
The consultation and review close on 5th March 2021 and full consultation can be accessed at https://redtractor.citizenspace.com.
Moseley added: “Farmers have been an intrinsic part of the process in drawing up the proposed new standards, but now it is over to the membership and stakeholders to have their say.
“Red Tractor was created to become a symbol of trust, safety and responsible production. Twenty years on, our purpose remains the same and we are absolutely delivering on it. “Millions of shoppers look for the Tractor when they are buying food and drink. And consumer trust has never been higher, making us the most trusted food marque in the UK.”
Photograph: Red Tractor CEO, Jim Moseley.