Red Tractor suspends farm inspections, Pig Health Scheme suspended
20th Mar 2020 / By Alistair Driver
Red Tractor has suspended ‘physical’ inspections from today 'until further notice' as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Instead, to maintain certification to the Red Tractor scheme, there will be a requirement for the certification body to carry out a remote assessment. Red Tractor said it was ‘working with our certification bodies to determine what these will look like and the consequences for our members in each sector’.
However, quarterly vet visits for pig farms will go ahead, where producers and vets agree it is safe to do so.
In a statement, Red Tractor said: “This is an unprecedented time for UK farming and food production, but shoppers and customers are relying on farmers, food companies and the wider industry to provide the reassurance they expect from us.
“We continue to work closely with our certification bodies and from 00.01 Friday 20th March, we will be suspending all physical inspections in these schemes until further notice.
"In making this decision Red Tractor has consulted with the Food Standards Agency and other enforcement bodies that we have earned recognition arrangements with and members can be reassured that these arrangements will be unaffected by the decision to suspend assessments.
“This includes earned recognition around dairy hygiene inspections as well as food and feed hygiene inspections carried out by Local Authorities.
“For pig members – where both the member and the vet mutually agree it is safe to do so, then Quarterly Vet visits can go ahead.
“In order to maintain certification to the Red Tractor scheme, there will be a requirement for the certification body to carry out a remote assessment- which is in accordance with UKAS requirements.
"We continue to work with our certification bodies to determine what these will look like and the consequences for our members in each sector.
“Certification bodies will confirm this to those members affected and we will provide more details on our website as soon as it is available.”
Red Tractor, which, incidentally, relaunched its logo today (see above), is urging any members who have questions about how this will affect their individual certification to contact their certification body.
Certification Body contacts:
- NSF Certification 07775575836
- SAI Global 01908 249973
- Lloyds Register 0131 335 6643
- NIFCC 028 9263 3017
- QWFC 01970 636688
Pig Health Scheme suspended
AHDB has suspended the Pig Health Scheme assessments as a result of the additional pressures on the workforce caused by the outbreak.
AHDB said: “We acknowledge that, at this time, when there is a higher throughput and reduced workforce at plants, the roles of the official vets and meat inspectors must take priority over Pig Health Scheme assessments.
“We will review the situation on a weekly basis and update the website once assessments can recommence.”