RED TRACTOR has said it will not introduce the controversial Greener Farms Commitment.

The assurance scheme apologised and conceded errors had been made in its introduction.

See also: RSPCA Assured puts three-month pause on introduction of new standards

It was developed as a way for farmers, processors and retailers to demonstrate sustainability.

However, its introduction sparked a backlash from the farming sector, with the NFU ultimately ordering a review of Red Tractor’s governance.

That review was conducted by consultant Campbell Tickell and concluded in late February.

‘Errors made’

The board of the assurance scheme accepted the recommendations made in that report.

Christine Tacon, Chair of Red Tractor, said that while the module had been conceived with the best of intentions, errors had been made.

“We take responsibility for those issues and are sorry. We hope that by dropping the module, we can close the door on this chapter and move forward.”

“We will only be involved in future environmental standards when all constituencies across the UK food and farming chain, by sector, ask us to and with full consultation.”

Review

Speaking of the review, Ms Tacon added: “Whilst the review found that ‘Red Tractor governance is sound’, it also sent a clear message about the frustration farmers are feeling.

“We will act now to improve our communications to farmers, including the transparency of our operations, purpose and benefits and we will strengthen our stakeholder engagement.”

“We will listen more closely to our farmers, for example, Red Tractor has previously found that transparency, audit burden and value are farmers’ top concerns with Red Tractor.

“Significant efforts are already underway to tackle these, which you will hear more about in the next few months.”