NEW: The UK’s First Trust in Food Index

Frequently asked questions 


Our frequently asked questions summaries will help you get ready for the new standards and understand the changes.

What do I need to do before my assessment after the new standards have taken effect?

We will be sharing the new manuals and creating helpful guides so that you can see what our new standards entail. Please keep an eye on your post, emails and our website for updates.

We have handy sector specific checklist for you to work through which incorporates all the changes in that sector to help you meet every standard, every day. Click here for the checklists.

What has changed?

The detail is sector specific, but most changes are a result of legislation change, keeping up with best practice and maximising market access for minimum audit burden.  

We have comprehensive guides on what has changed and why in each sector here

Why do I need to have a health and safety policy?

All farms with workers must have a written Health & Safety policy – this is a slight advance on the legal baseline which only applies to businesses with more than five employees.  

This will ensure that all Red Tractor farms have a simple, clearly defined approach to managing Health & Safety and that this can be independently verified. Given high fatality figures in the industry we believe it is essential to check policies are fit for purpose and implemented correctly. 

Do I need to pay for a Health & Safety policy to comply with the new standards?

No. You can get free support to create a Health & Safety policy on the Health and Safety Executive’s website, including a template and worked example. 

Why do I need a broken needle policy and what should it include?

While suspected broken needles in livestock are rare, it is important that farmers have a policy in place to deal with any cases where it is not possible for it to be removed. This is an animal welfare and food safety concern. 

Members can attempt to remove a broken needle from an animal themselves or seek assistance from their vet. If removal isn’t possible, members must follow a broken needle policy. See a worked example of this document on the Red Tractor website.  

What is allowed under the new standard for tethering cattle?

From November, housing systems which tether cattle will not be permitted. Where requested by members, a derogation will be offered and a farm visit will be made in cases where it is not possible for a business to transition away from a tethered housing system. You need to apply directly to Red Tractor for a derogation before 1 November. 

Tethering or restraining cattle for any other purpose will still be permitted, including for showing, milking and veterinary procedures. Tethering at shows is allowed because this is temporary, and cattle are under the care of a duty vet for the duration. 

What is red tractor doing about farrowing crates?

Farrowing crates are still permitted by Red Tractor however our standards around their use have been strengthened. There is pressure to move away from traditional farrowing crates, which means temporary crating has become an attractive option as it allows for the confinement of sows during the risky period – the early days after farrowing. 

There is now a recommendation that where a temporary crating system is used, it is opened as soon as possible after farrowing to allow the sow to turn around freely. We have also introduced criteria for those producers adopting indoor loose farrowing systems. 

How do I access Pig Welfare training and when must I complete it by?

Ensuring pigs are always treated compassionately is vital for pig welfare and will protect the industry’s reputation. A new standard means that anyone involved in the care of pigs needs to have completed all available mandatory training modules on pig welfare, initially focusing on moving and handling of pigs.

A new UK Pig industry training platform module has been developed by the AHDB and is expected to launch on the 1 March 2022.  This standard takes effect from 1 November, but all staff involved in the care of pigs have up to three months from the platform’s launch date to complete the training.

Once launched, the training will be available on the AHDB website.

Why do I need to complete medicines training?

Education underpins the success of strategies to deliver improved antibiotics stewardship. Training increases awareness, enhances knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance and drives consistent medicine best practice on UK farms. 

It also supports vital RUMA/Targets Task Force work to deliver the UK five-year antimicrobial strategy by improving education, training and public engagement. 

List of approved medicines training providers: 

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