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FAQs

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about Red Tractor. Our team of experts have created these FAQs to explain our standards and what we do.

About Red Tractor

Who are Red Tractor?

We’re a not-for-profit company driving the standards of British food and drink. We champion British produce, farmers and consumer safety ensuring your food is traceable, safe and farmed with care. So, we can all feel confident about our choices when shopping and eating out.

What do Red Tractor do?

The confidence we feel in British food and drink today is a far cry from the crisis facing our farmers 20 years ago. BSE. Salmonella. Foot and Mouth.

That’s why industry leaders and farmers came together to create Red Tractor. A not-for-profit company providing stability and consistency through a single set of assured standards.

Today we are the champions of British food, farming and consumer safety, linking farming, food production, processing and packing. 46,000 British farmers, major supermarkets, household brands and restaurant chains work to our world leading standards, making life simpler for everyone. We are the UK’s largest food standards scheme and the only one to cover all areas of food production from animal welfare and food safety to traceability and environmental protection. Simply put, from farm to pack.

We employ independent companies to undertake Red Tractor inspections. This ensures that they are outside of industry influence and impartial. Our team of assessors perform more than 60,000 checks a 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 farm to pack for food and drinks that carry our logo in stores and restaurants.

Our standards are considered to be the industry benchmark, with all major supermarkets using them as part of their food sourcing and supplier specifications.

 

 

 

How does Red Tractor operate?

We are a not-for-profit company set up by the UK food industry to transform and rebuild trust in British farming and food quality. We are independent, with our own staff and corporate board which includes experts from all farm and food sectors, animal health and welfare.

The costs of running Red Tractor are met by fees and licence payments from farmers and food companies. All Red Tractor assessments are carried out by independent companies to ensure that they are outside of industry influence and impartial.

About our standards

What do Red Tractor standards cover?

The Red Tractor logo can only be used on food and drink that has been produced, packed, stored and transported in the UK.

We cover a growing number of food and drinks that are farm produced such as fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry and crop-based products such as flour, breakfast cereals and even beer. Our standards cover the key points that we all care about when selecting our food including traceability, safety, animal welfare and environmental protection.

Our standards are considered to be the industry benchmark, with all major supermarkets using them as part of their food sourcing and supplier specifications.

You can read more about our standards here.

 

Do your standards allow unstunned meat?

To receive Red Tractor certification, all animals must be stunned prior to slaughter, without exception, in line with UK law.

Red Tractor standards are developed using the guidelines of the Humane Slaughter Association. This means the stun and its duration must render the animal unconscious to ensure they remain insensible to pain and do not regain consciousness. This process is also used by other assurance schemes, including RSPCA Assured.

 

What are Red Tractor’s standards on Animal Welfare?

We have partnered with animal welfare experts and vets since 2000 to continuously strengthen our requirements on animal welfare. Together we work to ensure that our animals are healthy with the right living space, food and water. Our members include award-winning farmers who share our priorities to strive for the very best in animal health and well-being.

In fact, we require our Red Tractor Certified farmers to meet a number of standards that are over and above the current legislation. For chickens this includes more living space than UK regulations demand and environmental enhancement in barns to encourage natural behaviours. Over the last 20 years our standards have led to a dramatic reduction in the use of antibiotics and improved animal health.

What are Red Tractor’s standards on use of antibiotics?

Red Tractor is a leader in limiting the use of antibiotics and adopts a responsible approach to antibiotics. ‘Growth promoters’ – still used in some parts of the world – are never used by British farmers.

Our scheme operates on a prevention basis, so that housing conditions, nutrition, hygiene and animal care are continually managed to reduce the need for antibiotics in the first place.

Red Tractor is a leading member of the Alliance for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture, which brings together experts from across the food and farming industry with veterinarians and provides sound advice on the best practices to limit their use.

What are Red Tractor’s standards on environmental protection?

A Red Tractor farmer’s land is their office and very often their home. They care about looking after the British countryside they love as much as we do. Fertilisers and pesticides are only used when absolutely necessary to keep crops healthy using methods that reduce the risks to wildlife and the environment wherever possible.

About our food

Where can I buy Red Tractor Food?

Red Tractor food is available from all major UK supermarkets and a growing number of restaurants and pubs when eating out. As our standards cover a vast number of UK food and drinks, you can find us on meat, fruit, vegetable and dairy as well as on prepared foods such as ready meals, breakfast cereals, bread and even beer. Look for the Red Tractor on food packaging and on menus.

How do you ensure that the Red Tractor label is used correctly?

The Red Tractor label can only be used on ingredients from farmers, growers and food processors that have been inspected and certified to our standards. Food businesses must be approved and licensed by Red Tractor before they can use our label. Packers must keep records of incoming food from Red Tractor farms to share at our assessments and allow full traceability back to the farms of origin.

We conduct more than 60,000 checks each year to regularly ensure our farms, packers, processors and the whole supply chain for any products carrying our label meet the standards we set.

What do the different Red Tractor labels mean?

The core ‘Certified Standards’ Logo

Products carrying this logo must be made using at least 95% of just one Red Tractor ingredient.

The ‘Named Ingredient’ Logo

The ‘Named Ingredient’ logo is for products where the Red Tractor certified ingredient(s) makes up 94% or less of the finished product. For example, the ‘chicken’ in a chicken kiev or items in multi-ingredient products such as ready meals, sandwiches, hot and cold pies.

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