Red Tractor 2021 Standards Review

Closed 7 Mar 2021

Opened 5 Jan 2021

Feedback updated 19 Jul 2021

We asked

The consultation set out proposals for reforming the schemes’ standards for each of the farming sectors we cover. The proposals sought to engage as many people as possible across the Red Tractor supply chain to streamline and rationalise standards which are common across multiple sectors, comply with legislation, meet changes in demand, and provide clarity for both farmers and their assessors. 

You said

There was some disparity between respondents where they felt some of the proposals we were suggesting went too far, not far enough or shouldn’t be streamlined across multiple sectors. Some views expressed the need for Red Tractor to provide some flexibility within the schemes, which could deliver even greater market access for our members, with minimal impact on the audit burden. 

We did

We reviewed the more than 3,000 pieces of qualitative and quantitative feedback that was received. Responses were fed into the technical advisory committees and sectors boards for consensus, before being agreed by the main Red Tractor board. 

In some cases, this differentiated our approach, in others it led to some proposals being dropped. 

OVERVIEW 

The revised farm standards will take effect from 1 November. The new manuals, guidance, checklists and other helpful tools will be available on our website from August, to allow as much time as possible for members to get ready and understand the changes

Overview

Red Tractor routinely reviews its standards every three to four years across all sectors to ensure members farm in a way that meets industry and best practice requirements.

Why your views matter

Red Tractor was established 20 years ago to reassure consumers that food bearing its logo was safe and responsibly produced. Initially the focus was on food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection but as with all industries, demands change and the scheme has evolved to meet those demands.

This successful evolution has meant that Red Tractor has become the most trusted food assurance scheme, many retailers, caterers and brands use Red Tractor as part of their buying specification. This provides farmers and growers with considerable market access, without needing to meet several differing standards and different audits.

It is vital that Red Tractor’s standards move with the times to ensure they address changes in legislation and best practice and also reflect emerging issues on consumer’s 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.

When evolving standards, Red Tractor always strives to achieve the balance that protects and promotes members, reassures consumers and costumer, while balancing the implications of the challenges that the industry faces.

The proposals have been developed in line with best practice guidelines and follow a 3-step process is: Committee - Consultation - Consensus.

This is the consultation stage.

Over the last 12 months, Red Tractor has been working closely with farming organisations, farmers, vets, processors and retailers; representatives from every stage of the food chain- from farm to pack- to identify areas for improvement. 

Some proposed changes track amendments to legislation, are in line with new scientific advice or are rationalising standards which are common across multiple sectors- providing improved clarity for both farmers and their assessors.

Red Tractor wants to hear from as many people as possible to ensure that the scheme’s standards continue to be meaningful to government and consumers, and ensure that members can meet market requirements, so that British produce is well placed to capitalise on the new trade opportunities which will come from Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Alongside the comprehensive review of our on-farm standards, we are also asking for views on Red Tractor and what matters to you and your business. Click here for details of how to submit your views.

What happens next

The consultation is now closed.