What does the Red Tractor mean?
1. Red Tractor standards ensure that the way food is farmed and prepared is regularly checked by independent experts to make sure it is of a good standard. A Red Tractor pig farm is inspected five times a year, once by independent assessors and every quarter by a veterinary surgeon (this is much more frequent than any other scheme or government agency).
2. Red Tractor is the biggest food standards scheme in the UK, covering animal welfare, food safety, traceability and environmental protection
3. Food bearing the Red Tractor logo has been produced to some of the most comprehensive and respected standards in the world
4. Red Tractor checks a wide range of products, including meat and poultry, dairy, cereals and fruit & vegetables
5. A team of experts constantly review the standards to make sure they reflect the best new thinking
We are really proud to support Red Tractor farmers; we hope you enjoy our sausages and are proud to buy British too! Click on the above image to meet one of the Red Tractor pig farmers Andrew Freemantle.
In passing the checks, the farmers get what is known as farm assurance. They get a certificate and stickers so that when their pigs go to market or slaughter, the buyers and eventually the consumers, know that the food they buy has been raised to a certain standard. It is also a kind of traceability system so that the consumer knows where their food comes from.
The sticker helps consumers put their trust into their farmers and the brilliant work they do and then vote with their feet (and their wallets) by only buying products that feature the red tractor logo.
In more detail (the specific pig standards are available here):
- All feed fed to Red Tractor pigs is suitable and traceable. No antibiotic or hormonal growth promoters are used, no blood products and no pig derived nutritional products are fed. Bought-in feed to RT pig farms is from an assured source or in specific circumstances, with a warranty declaration.
- All pork is fully traceable. It is a requirement of the Red Tractor Scheme that pigs travelling to slaughter are identified and records kept to maintain traceability. Movement records are maintained on either an electronic system or by paper copies of movement documents/haulier summaries.
- The health and welfare of all pigs is paramount, and there are many standards in place to ensure the welfare of the pig, whether it is food, environment, health.
- Maintaining pig welfare to ensure humane treatment and minimise stress throughout the slaughter process is also a well documented and checked procedure, details can be found here. All slaughter is undertaken fully certified and maintained to the standards laid down by British Quality Assured Pork.