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A new report from AHDB has found Red Tractor’s standards to be higher in all areas except biosecurity and disease control 

Red Tractor’s beef and lamb standards are higher and more comprehensive than its counterparts in Australia and New Zealand, according to initial results from an AHDB benchmarking study.

The new report from AHDB compared Red Tractor with Australia’s Livestock Production Assurance and New Zealand’s Farm Assurance Programme.

It found that Red Tractor’s standards were higher in all areas except biosecurity and disease control.

This raised concerns that lower farm assurance standards in Australia and New Zealand could be giving them an unfair advantage, AHDB said.

AHDB data suggested that since the beginning of 2022 there had been a consistent and positive price differential between the UK’s deadweight farmgate pricing compared with New Zealand and Australia.

Currently the differential is at a peak with UK lamb almost three times higher than both countries and UK beef at just over 50% more than Australia’s.

Red Tractor CEO Jim Moseley welcomed the report and said it gave “UK processors a stronger position from which to compete with New Zealand and Australian product on the retail market in the UK and in those export markets, where production standards are the key buying criteria”.

“However, this report does raise important points that we need to take on board so we can ensure we are delivering value and opportunities back to British farmers for their higher standards,” said Moseley. “What we have to do is make sure that when there’s British supply, retailers are stocking it and shoppers are buying it.”

The study, which is the first of four AHDB has commissioned comparing regulation and assurance in different countries as conducted by independent consultant Jonathan Birnie.

AHDB will release the other three international benchmarking against Red Tractor’s standards later in the year, including European countries such as Ireland, and in key beef and lamb producing countries in the Americas.