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Red Tractor Compliance Update

Red Tractor Compliance Update – April 2020

For two decades we have continuously strived for improvements in farming and production standards.  By working with experts in their fields, we have become the UK’s largest assured food and farming standards scheme and are the only programme to cover all aspects of food production. The standards that we set have had a fundamental role in rebuilding consumer trust and leading the transformation of British Farming after the spate of food scares in the 1990’s

The four pillars of Red Tractor standards are:

Animal Welfare
Environmental Protection
Food Safety

Each of our agriculture sectors has around 160 individual standards. That’s over 1,000 standards, 46,000 farmers members, compliant 365 days a year.

How we do it

Red Tractor employs independent companies to undertake inspections. These companies are outside of industry influence and are impartial. Teams of assessors perform more than 60,000 checks every year across the supply chain to safeguard how animals are tended to, how fresh produce is grown and how our standards are being followed from field to basket for food and drinks that carry our logo in stores and restaurants.

Assessors perform checks every step of the way of the food from farm to pack.


Compliance to our standards is at the core of our business. To protect the integrity of the scheme and our members, we have measures in place to ensure that our standards are met. To drive greater compliance in the small proportion of cases where members require more support to consistently achieve our standards, we have introduced a risk-based approach to inspections.

For these members, we have introduced additional unannounced audits.

What if a member isn’t fully compliant?

If an audited farm or processor falls short of our standards on a non-critical issue like misplacing training documentation, it is considered to be a minor non-conformance. The member is given 28 days to address the issue and prove to Red Tractor that the necessary steps have been taken to be fully compliant. If this is achieved, then their certification won’t be suspended.

When is a member suspended or withdrawn from the scheme?

Non-conformance Suspension

Certification can be suspended if minor non-conformances aren’t put right within 28 days. Or if an assessment finds a serious non-conformance, like a food safety issue, then there will be an immediate suspension until the issue has been rectified. The farmer cannot sell any livestock or products as Red Tractor assured whilst suspended.

Non-conformance withdrawal

If during their suspension (of up to 3 months) or after an investigation, a member fails to demonstrate that they are now fully compliant, then their certification to the scheme will be withdrawn and membership terminated.

In addition to routine inspections, certification can be suspended or withdrawn if non-conformance issues raised by a third party can be fully substantiated.

The governance arrangements for our scheme is designed to ensure that we and our members conduct ourselves in line with the law and our standards. Each quarter we will publish an update of the number of members who have had their certification suspended or withdrawn.

January – March 2020

October- December 2019
July – September 2019
April – June 2019

Look out for the Red Tractor label in all major supermarkets. Your can also find us in pubs & restaurants including: