Assured Food Standards, which runs the red tractor scheme, insisted this week that new standards to allow dairy farmers to sell animals for beef were as rigorous as those for existing beef schemes.
AFS said the new standards would make it simpler for dairy farmers to benefit from the lifting of the ban on Over Thirty Months beef.
They will mean that dairy farmers undergo a single inspection in order to qualify for assured status for both their milk and beef.
The National Beef Association has claimed the new standards fall below those for other beef farmers, but this allegation was dismissed by David Clarke, AFS chief executive.
“Our in-depth analysis showed that 97% of the existing dairy standards matched or exceeded the relevant beef standards,” he said.
“We have now bolted on five new standards and have made minor changes to others to ensure 100% compatibility and credibility.”