Fruit and vegetables form the backbone of a healthy diet, but the way we eat them presents certain risks that must be carefully managed. This is because they are frequently consumed without cooking which could eliminate some of the most significant food safety risks. That’s why it’s critical for all fruit and vegetables to be produced in a strictly controlled and hygienic way to minimise risk at each stage of the process and ensure your food is safe to eat.
By looking for the Red Tractor logo on your fruit and vegetables, you can be confident rigorous safety standards have been met and the produce can be traced right back through the supply chain to the British farms it came from.
Take a look at some of our fresh produce standards…
There must be clear identification of the product throughout the supply chain to ensure full traceability back to the farm
All staff working on a Red Tractor certified farm must be trained and demonstrably competent to carry out their job
Food handlers on farm play a vital role in feeding the nation and they are trained to understand and implement hygiene practices that ensure food safety
Growers must meet rigorous hygiene standards and manage operations in a way that maintains food safety and minimises risk
Did you know?
There have been a number of food safety issues associated with Fresh Produce in the last decade. We study these incidents so we can consistently develop and strengthen our Standards. Our proactive approach to managing risk at each stage of the crop production process means Red Tractor growers meet world-leading standards and protect a proud Food Safety record for Britain
Application of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) and fertilisers must be safely managed to prevent contamination or pollution of the wider environment. Use of such products is strictly regulated by Red Tractor and plans must be in place to minimise their use without compromising product quality
What are PPPs?
- Plant Protection Products (PPPs) are used in fresh product production to keep the plants healthy. They include things like pesticides, insecticides and fungicides
- Protection from pest and disease is vital to ensure quality crops grow successfully. Red Tractor growers adopt the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to ensure the use of these products is minimised
Farmers must minimise any adverse impact the farm has on wildlife, flora, fauna and the environment
How do they do this?
- Practices must be adopted to minimise the impact of the farm on features of biodiversity and conservation value on or around the farm
- Soil must be managed in a manner that helps maintain soil condition
- Excessive use of water is not permitted
- Only appropriate, safe and suitable fertilisers must be applied
- All wastes must be disposed of in a manner that minimises the risk of contamination or pollution
Our Red Tractor accreditation helps us to get the message across to the consumer that our food is probably the safest in the world as it is farmed to Red Tractor standards. These are higher than food standards in other countries and this is really important to the UK public.
Joe is the Company Director of Valefresco – they produce over 400 tonnes of Red Tractor assured salad every week from their farms.
“When people can see the care that goes into UK-farmed food and drink, they can understand its value and how important it is. We are what we eat, and people put an emphasis on knowing what they eat and where it comes from as eating is the most important thing a human does. “
Valefresco salad products are sold by all major UK retailers and they all accept Red Tractor as a suitable farm assurance standard
“It is also very important to our customers. The retailers and customers we sell to demand that all of their suppliers be Red Tractor Certified to ensure traceability, safety and responsible farming for all of the salads and vegetables that they sell.”
Soil health is a priority for Valefresco. As such, they grow wheat every one in three years to help protect the land by rebalancing soil nutrients. They also encourage biodiversity as much as possible.
“We do this by managing the headland. For example, we won’t cut nettles in certain areas as they are rich in insects. This means that we have hares, lapwings, deer and badgers that visit our land.”