The Red Tractor Scheme has at last gained European Commission approval, providing easier market access for crop exports and reducing paperwork.
This official status brings recognition from commercial operators including German assurance schemes and will improve access to markets for grain and seed generally and specifically for biofuel markets in Germany.
“Approval is highly significant to producers of oilseed and cereal crops and for sugar beet as well as traders and processors of our crops here and across the EU,” said NFU chief sugar adviser Ruth Digby.
This move will ensure crops with the badge of Red Tractor Assurance can access all European markets without the need for additional audits or paperwork and will prevent the need for multiple schemes on farm for different markets.
The Red Tractor Crops and Sugar Beet Scheme standards incorporate small changes to existing environmental impact standards in order to fulfill Renewable Energy Directive requirements, which aim to protect high-carbon and highly-biodiverse land areas. Relevant information and proof of land use is checked and recorded as part of the annual farm assurance inspection.
Scotland’s SQC assurance scheme is also expected to gain approval before the end of July.