When it comes to animal welfare, Great Britain is second to none! Our standards sit way higher than any other country in the world. Although this can mean that with higher standards there comes a higher cost of production. Although when selling through the supermarket the farmer may not see the extra return. But this is where we believe selling directly to the consumer can give you that competitive advantage. If you market your products successfully it’s quids in for both the farmer and the end buyer as there are far less middle meant trying to get a cut.
Raising animal welfare, protecting workers’ rights and enhancing environmental protection are the primary aims of the latest review of Red Tractor standards that farmer members will have to meet from November.
Announcing plans for a fifth major upgrade since the farm assurance scheme was first introduced in 2000, chief executive Jim Moseley said further change was needed to keep up with consumer expectations.
“If we don’t evolve and don’t meet consumer demands, they will disregard Red Tractor and probably buy more on price,” he said.
“Similarly, because many retailers, caterers and brands use Red Tractor as part of their buying specification, it is quite possible that without it they would create their own standards, do their own inspections, and would have less reason to support British.”
The consultation, launched on Tuesday 5 January, follows a year of discussions with all parts of the food chain and seeks further “evolution” across the scheme’s six sectors: beef and lamb, poultry, pigs, dairy, fresh produce and combinable crops/sugar beet.
On animal welfare, there will be a greater emphasis on welfare “outcomes” linked to standards, rather than just the “inputs”, Mr Moseley explained.
“This includes housing structure and cleanliness, and will also make clear what is and isn’t acceptable when handling animals,” he said.
A previous consultation has already determined that dairy farmers will have to move away from the routine euthanasia of male calves by the end of this year.
Another priority will be worker welfare, in keeping with Red Tractor’s ‘Farmed with Care’ strapline.
At Flame Marketing our core aim is to improve the rural economy through supporting agri-businesses and farms. We believe one of the key issues facing UK agriculture at present is the lack of understanding and the disconnect between the general public and the farming community. Through our Agri-marketing services, we are working to ensure consumers have a better understanding of the processed involved in making their food and maintaining the countryside.