Fresh produce grown on Red Tractor assured farms is to be recognised as equivalent to two major food assurance schemes.
Tesco has announced that from the beginning of April 2018 it will recognise Red Tractor’s standards as equivalent to its Nurture scheme.
It is estimated the development will benefit about 800 Red Tractor assured fresh produce growers supplying Tesco.
International assurance body GLOBAL G.A.P. also confirmed that as a result of its own benchmarking exercise the requirement for a further farm assessment has been removed.
This is significant for UK growers who export fruit and vegetables abroad using the GLOBAL G.A.P. scheme who will no longer require an additional audit on top of their Red Tractor assessment.
'Driving down bureaucracy'
Both announcements follow the introduction of a strengthened set of Red Tractor scheme standards which came in to force on 1 October.
“Reducing duplication, driving down bureaucracy and lowering costs is something that we strive to deliver for farming businesses,” said Red Tractor’s chief executive Jim Moseley.
“Tesco, GLOBAL G.A.P. and Red Tractor have been working in collaboration for some time and I am absolutely delighted our fresh produce standards will be recognised in this way.
“This is a huge new benefit of Red Tractor membership for UK growers, who no longer have to pay for and pass additional inspections to supply major customers at home and abroad.”
A simplified GLOBAL G.A.P. process will streamline audits and reduce costs for growers who wish to export in the future.
"The Red Tractor Assurance for Farms Fresh Produce Standards were the very first to be benchmarked by GLOBAL G.A.P. 15 years ago." said Kristian Moeller, CEO of GLOBAL G.A.P.
"With this long partnership, we have jointly brought farm certification to a new level and I applaud the achieved state of harmonisation."
Red Tractor will be contacting its members directly with more details about how the changes will be brought into effect.