Farmers and growers who are part of the Red Tractor Assurance scheme will receive a new set of farm standards this month, which should be ready for implementation from October.

The changes form part of the scheme’s three yearly review. The assessment aims to ensure that the standards farmers are held to fall in line with consumers’ expectations of the £13bn of products that carries the logo.

Antibiotic use across all livestock sectors has been scrutinised and toughened standards aim to help farmers reduce and record use in line with best practice advice from RUMA, the alliance for Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture.

In preparation for these new standards, assured pig producers are already having to record antibiotic use on the electronic Medicine Book developed by AHDB Pigs.

Significant changes have also been made to the fresh produce scheme to reduce the risk of UK producers falling foul of the same food safety scares which have devastated some European horticultural business.

Industry and regulatory affairs manager Philippa Wiltshire (pictured) said: “We recognise that our new standards will require changes in farm management for some, but we also know that continuing to invest in a robust farm assurance scheme will keep consumers coming back to Red Tractor assured products.”

“We have strengthened standards which have been identified as key areas of reputational risk and addressed industry concerns to keep our members ahead of the game,” Philippa continued.

Packs containing the new standards and details of some of the most significant changes will be arriving on farms over the next few weeks. Checklists for those who want to carry out a full self assessment are available from the scheme’s website.