Farming News - Red Tractor develop new farm standards after consultation

Red Tractor develop new farm standards after consultation

06 Jul 2021
Frontdesk / Arable / Livestock

Red Tractor has agreed changes to its new set of farm standards following the biggest industry-wide consultation in the scheme’s history.

The assurance body reviews its standards every three or four years to ensure farmers are meeting the ever-changing expectations of the public.

Red Tractor opened the process to its 46,000 members hearing directly from their members and stakeholders, in addition to the established routes of representative groups and organisations.

The proposals were put before the food and farming industry and drawn up with input at every stage from all key stakeholders including farmers, processors, retailers and vets.

The review saw more than 3,000 pieces of feedback received through meetings, emails, written questions and phone calls.

Responding to the announcement, NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said: “It has never been more important for British agriculture to be in tune with the public.

“Following feedback from the NFU and farmer and grower licensees, Red Tractor has developed the right standards to progress our industry, while balancing the needs of farmers with the evolving demands of shoppers and the supply chain.”

The crops and sugar beet sectors accounted for 30% of the feedback during the consultation. This was followed by 21% from beef and lamb, 20% pigs and 18% from dairy. Meanwhile, responses from the poultry and fresh produce sectors were 6% and 5% respectively.

Red Tractor said the process adheres to the gold standard recommendations of the British Standards Institute – committee, consultation and consensus.

Red Tractor CEO Jim Moseley said: “We set out to hear from and to engage with as much of the farming community as possible, and I’m delighted by the amount of feedback that was generated by the review.

“This has been enormously helpful for informing the work to finalise the finalise the new version of the standards.”

The NFU has also reiterated the need for Red Tractor to embed the eight key principles it set out during the consultation to guide the standards body to improve its offer to scheme members.

Stuart Roberts added: “Going forward I would like to see Red Tractor embrace the eight principles that NFU has set out for future standards development.”