The UK’s largest farm assurance certification organisation, Red Tractor, has taken over the ownership of the (QBT) Quality British Turkey Scheme.
For the past decade, there has been a mutual recognition agreement that has ensured that turkey produced to QBT standards can benefit from the being sold with the Red Tractor consumer logo.
But from this month, ownership has been transferred from the British Poultry Council to Red Tractor Assurance. Its new name is the Red Tractor Farm Assurance scheme for Turkeys.
The comprehensive 47-page document covers everything from traceability, vermin control, housing, shelter and handling facilities, feed and water, animal health and welfare to hatchery and breeder layer eggs, biosecurity and disease control, animal medicines and husbandry procedures and responsible use of agrochemicals.
Andy Lewins, Red Tractor poultry chairman, said there would be no direct impact on UK turkey producers, describing the transition as seamless.
“QBT’s standards were rooted in traceability, animal welfare and food safety and are similar in nature to the standards Red Tractor sets out in its poultry scheme.
“Becoming part of the wider poultry scheme allows for smooth administration and will mean a sound future for turkey assurance,” he added.
Independent assessment body SAI Global will continue to be producers’ main point of contact for membership, assessments and certification.
Richard Griffiths, British Poultry Council chief executive, said he believed Red Tractor’s ownership of turkey production standards would strengthen consumer trust towards British turkey production.
“We need to know where it comes from, how it was grown, that it is of good quality, that it supports our communities and that it will be available again tomorrow, next week and next year.”