Back to Standards
To be Red Tractor assured, our pig farmers must work tirelessly to maintain a rigorous set of standards that keep animal welfare at their core and ensure we can deliver full supply chain traceability and safety.
Did you know…
In Britain there are a number of different pig farming systems, but the two main production systems are indoor and outdoor. Two thirds of the sows in the UK are housed in indoor units and the remaining third are reared outdoors. Red Tractor’s requirements cover both indoor and outdoor pig farms, to ensure our high welfare standards are met on all certified pig farms, regardless of the production system.
Looking after the environment is a big part of being a pig farmer. Red Tractor standards require certified farms to have a number of systems in place to manage their impact on the environment including the appropriate management of any manures, fertilisers or agrochemicals to prevent contamination and pollution.
We require all pig units to submit their antibiotic usage data, which means we can track progress against antibiotic reduction targets. Our standards also only allow use of the highest priority antibiotics that are of critical importance for human medicine as a last resort when absolutely necessary to protect pig health.
Meet Red Tractor Pig Farmer, Andrew
Red Tractor is so important because it is an independent audit on our business which means we’re always working to a strict set of standards. I have a great sense of pride when I then see Red Tractor products for sale in supermarkets or on menus since I know just how much work has gone into that product
Red Tractor Pig Farmer

Working on a neighbouring farm when he was younger inspired Andrew to set up his own pig farm and raise his own animals

“I started pig farming on my own account in 1994 after working on a neighbouring pig farm and have built the business up to what it is now. I really enjoy working with pigs and found it to be a sector that was more accessible to a new entrant like myself”

Andrew’s farm now raises an impressive number of pigs, all of which are checked every day and seen by a vet at least four times a year to ensure their welfare

“At any time, we normally have around 3400 pigs on our farm, 340 of which are sows – these are the adult female pigs that we use for breeding. We use an indoor system with slatted pig pens which means we can raise the pigs at a competitive cost while ensuring their welfare. All our pigs have access to straw or toys which also adds to their welfare.

In other parts of the world, use of antibiotics in pig farming lacks the same regulation as we have here in the UK. Andrew is especially proud of our approach to antibiotics in Britain.

“We don’t use any antibiotics in the pig feed on our own farm and that’s something I’m very proud of. Red Tractor requires any necessary antibiotics to be used responsibly, which means we work consistently to manage the health and welfare of our animals. That’s why biosecurity is so important on our pig farms as we need to protect the pigs from anything potentially harmful like bacteria from outside the farm”