Red Tractor standards apply to all English wheat used by UK flour millers, approximately 4m tonnes in a typical year.
Covering a range of farming aspects, from risk assessments of contaminants, to soil health, chemical storage and the management of staff, the standards help growers demonstrate compliance with legal requirements, as well as providing millers with confidence that wheat has been grown, harvested and stored following good practices, minimising the need for costly contaminant analyses.
The standards are reviewed every three years, to account for evolving customer requirements as well as new technology and best practice.
Alongside other stakeholders such as farmers and cereal processors, UK Flour Millers are closely involved in the review process, ensuring the views of our members are heard and pushing for improvements that millers wish to see made to the scheme.
The review for the latest version of the Red Tractor Combinable Crops Standards (version 5), took place over the past 18 months, and we have successfully argued for the following changes to be made to the new version of the standards:
The prohibiting of shooting over or into stored grain (to address lead shot contamination).
Biosolids to be assured under the Biosolids Assurance Scheme.
Prohibiting the use of loose toxic bait in grain stores containing grain (minimises contamination risk).
Prohibiting the storage of loose treated seed in a grain store containing grain (minimises contamination risk).
Other changes to the standards we supported that benefit our sector and improve the quality of the scheme include:
Requirement that growers follow the AHDB grain storage guide (will improve the quality of storage and minimise contamination risk).
Requiring a health and safety plan to be in place and to be effectively communicated to farm workers.
The new standards will come into effect from November 1, 2021. For more information, please contact JoeBrennan@ukflourmillers.org