Red Tractor has announced major changes to broaden the scheme and strengthen its farm inspections.

New modules as part of its standards could cover areas such as enhanced animal welfare, organic and environmentally sustainable production. The farm inspection programme is being strengthened with measures such as the introduction of a more comprehensive approach to unannounced on farm inspections.

NFU president Minette Batter said: “Red Tractor’s new modular approach to assurance will give producers a one stop shop for their assurance needs and help to reduce the burden placed on them. There is also the potential to offer a clear and comprehensive labelling scheme for shoppers.

“The Red Tractor standards continue to evolve with the introduction of a risk based approach to farm inspections. The NFU supports this change which will help ensure the scheme remains relevant and robust, giving confidence to buyers. We recognise that this new approach to inspections needs to be practical at farm level and we will be working with Red Tractor to ensure that this is the case.

A new million pound TV advertising campaign launched by Red Tractor is hoped to help raise its profile and that of the thousands of farmers behind the assurance scheme and the high standards they adhere to.

The animated adverts will run for eight weeks on TV and digital channels and are designed to be fun and informative to appeal to shoppers with children.

Ms Batters said: “This new advertising campaign will raise the profile and understanding of Red Tractor, farmers and the fantastic job they do producing the nation’s food to high levels of animal welfare and environmental standards.

“Brexit is a game changer for British agriculture and ‘Brand Britain’ must be based on the integrity of robust food assurance. There’s never been a more important time to market and promote great British food and farming, and for us as farmers and growers to reach out to shoppers and encourage them to buy high quality, British produce.

“The message within these commercials is that Red Tractor food is safe, traceable and farmed with care, and to look out for the Red Tractor label on produce when shopping. Research has shown that shoppers are twice as likely to buy Red Tractor labelled produce when they understand the meaning behind the label.”