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The Red Tractor Assurance Schemes exist to certify and signify the compliance by each of its members to a series of rigorous standards that apply to different farming enterprises and different steps within the food supply chain.
Food businesses must meet our requirements and hold a valid Red Tractor licence. That means all Red Tractor products, whether using our logo or not, are fully traceable.
Our assurance standards must be complied with at each stage of the supply chain. We also check use of the Red Tractor logo and any claims being made.
We visit all our licensees to carry out Traceability Challenges. This assessment programme runs separate to our regular Red Tractor scheme assessments. We have a dedicated pool of assessors who run detailed product checks to verify any Red Tractor claims and logo use.
The Red Tractor logo on food or drink stands for a wealth of checks, standards and rules. These must be met at each stage of the food chain through third party certification. They apply whether you’re a farmer, food processor, packer, trader or food service outlet.
Producers and food businesses wishing to grow, rear, pack, handle or trade Red Tractor products must comply with the relevant rules. These standards safeguard how the food has been grown, reared, and processed from farm to pack.
Our farmer members must maintain high levels of care for animal welfare and environmental protection. They must also and take sensible steps to protect the health, safety, and welfare of workers on farm.
Red Tractor members must take a preventative approach to protect the environment, and animal health and welfare. That means minimising the use of pesticides and herbicides, and other plant protection products so that they are only applied when necessary. We also require farms to have stringent pollution and soil management strategies.
Our animal welfare standards at farm level and post farm gate, are underpinned by the Five Freedoms of animal welfare. Alongside our inspections, all poultry and livestock members must have health management and biosecurity plans for their animals and regular vet visits. This reduces the risk of disease and thus the need for antibiotics and other medicines to protect animal health and welfare.
In addition to routine assessments, we also carry out unannounced checks on high-risk farms to make sure every member, meets every standard, every day.
At farm level: Our farm sector standards are: Beef and Lamb, Crops and Sugar Beet, Dairy, Fresh Produce, Pigs and Poultry.
Post-farmgate and before processing: Our standards for livestock leaving the farm. These include: poultry catching and transport, livestock transport (cattle, sheep and pigs) and markets and collection centres (where applicable). We also have standards for transporting combinable crops and dairy products.
For food processers: Our standards for factories, including our Red Tractor Meat and Poultry Processing Scheme Standards. We also recognise third-party schemes such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards for Food Safety, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Pork Scheme or Quality Meat Scotland Processing Standards.
For Licensees: These rules apply to businesses licensed to make a Red Tractor Assured Claim (whether using our logo or not). They ensure abattoirs and cutting plants, catering butchers, further processing sites, wholesalers, traders and food service companies meet our standards.