» FSA relies on Farm Assurance Schemes
09 March, 2015
Farm Assurance Schemes (eg Red Tractor) are used by the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and DEFRA as an indication of compliance with EU legislation on animal feed, animal health and animal welfare. Whilst it is recognised that the assurance schemes are not targeted specifically on these aspects, a number of assessments carried out by DEFRA and FSA have concluded that they cover the legislative requirements in a credible and transparent way. Arrangements are also in place for the assurance schemes and enforcement agencies to share information which helps to target effort and inform judgments. Inspection visits can therefore be reduced for members of these schemes to the benefit of the enforcement agencies and the members themselves.
Farm Assurance Schemes are operated by organisations such as Assured Food Standards, Quality Meat Scotland, Farm Assured Welsh Livestock and Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assured Scheme. All these schemes require the independent certification bodies that carry out the assessment and certification of the scheme members to be UKAS accredited in order to ensure that the standards set are met in a consistent manner.