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Red Tractor delays new standards pending outcome of governance review

Red Tractor, the UK's leading food assurance scheme, has decided to postpone the launch of its new standards and additional modules, opting to await the outcome of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) governance review. This move reflects the scheme's commitment to ensuring that its assurance processes remain relevant and effective in the coming years.

The AFS board of Red Tractor has voiced its support for the review but has also called for a broader examination of food chain assurance and its role within the supply chain.

The pause in implementing new initiatives comes as a response to the agricultural industry's feedback and the need to address the concerns of farmers throughout England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Christine Tacon, Chair of Red Tractor, has stressed the importance of heeding the worries of the farming community and tackling wider issues within the agricultural sector.

Acknowledging the challenging times faced by UK agriculture, Tacon has highlighted the deep-seated frustrations of farmers that extend beyond the proposed environmental module.

The NFU has been urged to complete its independent review by January 2024. In the interim, Red Tractor will continue to operate under its existing standards, maintaining consumer confidence in their certification.

Red Tractor's leadership has expressed regret for not fully grasping the members' perspectives sooner. However, Tacon sees the ensuing discussions as a crucial opportunity for the farming sectors and supply chains to collaborate effectively.

Looking ahead, Red Tractor anticipates ongoing dialogue with its Technical Advisory Committees, Sector Boards, and the new Development Advisory Panel. The focus will be on the advantages of farm assurance and the demonstration of progress in environmentally focused farming across various sectors.

In summary, Red Tractor's approach aims to support the NFU's review process while continuing to uphold the standards that underpin consumer trust in their logo.


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