Stricter standards, more unannounced farm inspections, and improved labelling for consumers are among a host of changes being announced today by Red Tractor.
The farm assurance body’s chief executive, Jim Moseley, said: “Our vision is that Red Tractor is seen by shoppers, farmers and the food industry as the flagship of British food and farming.”
He said changes to assurance standards will include the introduction of additional modules of standards for producers.
These standards include enhanced animal welfare, organic and environmentally sustainable production. They will be complemented by a new consumer-facing labelling system.
Mr Moseley said a tougher inspection regime, with greater inspection frequency and unannounced inspections, would begin in November for full roll-out across all farms in 2019.
A £1.5 million television advertising campaign to increase understanding of what the Red Tractor logo means will also launch tomorrow.
The plans have been welcomed by industry.
NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker said: “Farm assurance underpins our quality credentials. The launch of the first national TV campaign by Red Tractor is an important step in helping consumers understand what it takes to produce the fantastic high quality food grown and reared in the UK.”
National Sheep Association chief executive Phil Stocker said: “It’s reassuring to see a robust response to a number of recent damaging claims that risk undermining the value of the scheme.”
An Aldi spokesman said: “We are pleased to see Red Tractor has taken the necessary steps to improve the robustness of their scheme, and we are supportive of their mesaures to further improve traceability and transparency in the supply chain.”