Fresh produce that is certified by Red Tractor will now be recognised as equivalent to Tesco’s Nurture scheme and worldwide sustainability mark GlobalGAP in a major boost to audit harmonisation.
Tesco said it will recognise Red Tractor as equivalent to Nurture from April 2018, with the move expected to benefit around 800 of its produce suppliers.
GlobalGap said it had made the decision as a result of its own benchmarking exercise, which found further farm assessment could be avoided and therefore removing a significant barrier to fruit and veg exporters.
The news comes after Red Tractor released a strengthened set of standards that came into force on 1 October. “Reducing duplication, driving down bureaucracy and lowering costs is something that we strive to deliver for farming businesses,” said Red Tractor chief executive Jim Moseley.
“Tesco, GlobalGAP and Red Tractor have been working in collaboration for some time and I am absolutely delighted our fresh produce standards will be recognised in this way.
“This is a huge new benefit of Red Tractor membership for UK growers, who no longer have to pay for and pass additional inspections to supply major customers at home and abroad.”
GlobalGAP chief executive Kristian Moeller said: "The Red Tractor Assurance for standards were the very first to be benchmarked by GlobalGAP 15 years ago.
"With this long partnership, we have jointly brought farm certification to a new level and I applaud the achieved state of harmonisation."
Red Tractor said it will be contacting its members directly with more details about how the changes will be brought into effect.