The 8 key principles for developing food assurance standards

A shopping basket with carrots, bacon, jam, peppers, eggs, bread, milk, tomatoes

When the NFU submitted its response to the Red Tractor 2021 Standards Review it called for a fresh approach and set out 8 key principles to guide the standards body to improve its offer to scheme members.

The NFU’s 8 key principles for developing food assurance standards are:

1 Continue to retain trust and support growth in the domestic market for British food.
Provide an assurance platform for growth in the export market for British food and ensure high value exports have robust assurance supporting traceability claims.
3 Retain its leading position on cost effective assurance and protect members from inspection and regulatory duplication. Any additional costs associated with implementing new standards should be supported with a clear and simple cost benefit analysis or business case.
Be empowered to challenge duplicity within the marketplace and not facilitate the hypocrisy of buyers’ sourcing policies which undermines domestic standards.
Seek to add value through segmentation and market differentiation where there is a need to deliver different value propositions to different markets, without inflating the core standard and eroding value to scheme members.
Provide marketing choice for buyers. Scheme options, or bolt-ons, could provide competition for cost-effective or a more practicable alternative for brands and scheme members alike.
Provide a viable but discretionary alternative to new or increasing regulatory burdens and it should deliver efficient solutions in areas that are susceptible to regulatory burdens.
Explore the opportunities for inspections to be driven by outcomes and data, and where possible reduce the burden of inspection and add value back to farmers.

The Red Tractor consultation saw input from all key stakeholders including farmers, processors, retailers and vets. Some 3,000 pieces of feedback were received by Red Tractor through meetings, emails and phone calls.


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