Food and farming standards

Beef, pork, lamb and dairy are produced in the UK to world-class food and farming standards

Female farmers hand feeding sheep

We can be proud of the quality food production

in the UK

Not all meat and dairy is produced in the same way across the globe, but from farm to fork, the food from British farmers is produced to some of the highest standards in the world.

Food safety and quality

The UK scores 100% in the Global Food Security Index for safety. This is largely due to the Food Standards Agency, which works to ensure all food is safe for us to eat and maintains a strong reputation for quality and authenticity, both at home and abroad. Standards cover every stage of the food chain, from animal health and welfare, to packaging and storage.

Food Standards Agency logo

Hormones and antibiotics

33.6% of UK antibiotic use is for 1bn farm animals and 62m pets and horses

* source – UK One Health 2019

Using hormones to boost growth in animals has been illegal in the UK for well over 40 years. Using antibiotics to boost animal growth is also illegal and has been for over 15 years.

Over the last decade, British farmers have significantly lowered antibiotic use and now have some of the lowest usage rates in the world.*

Animal health

Antibiotics are important medicines for protecting animal health, so they are only used when prescribed by a vet.

Farmers work hard to provide optimal nutrition and good health and welfare standards, along with the best genetics, to ensure their meat and dairy products are of the highest quality possible.

Outlines of a cow, sheep and pig over a first aid cross image

Farming standards

While legislation ensures minimum required standards on every farm in Britain, it is underpinned by assurance schemes, such as Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured.

Assurance schemes bring shoppers confidence in knowing the food they buy has been checked from farm to pack. This includes certifying traceability (or what farm it came from), high production standards and care for our environment and wildlife.

Standards implemented by Red Tractor, the UK’s largest food and farming scheme, are world leading in their breadth and depth, spanning every stage of the production process.

Red Tractor Certified Standards logo
RSPCA assured logo

From the land, not the lab

The UK’s weather and landscape make it an ideal place to graze cattle and sheep; we have plenty of grass, rain and sunshine.

This means all our sheep, and the vast majority of our cows, spend most of the year out in the field, only to be brought indoors when it’s too wet and muddy in winter.

A large number of our pigs are also outdoors – in fact, the UK has the largest outdoor herd in Europe. But as pigs love to churn up the earth to root for goodies, we can’t have all of our pigs outside.

Red Tractor

The Red Tractor logo is only found on food and drink products that are sourced from UK farms and have been certified to our rigorous standards from farms to pack. The Red Tractor means that the food has been responsibly sourced, safely produced and comes from crops and animals that have been well cared for. This ensures that quality British produce is traceable, safe and farmed with care – so it’s good for you and good for British farmers.

Picture of Red Tractor

Red Tractor

Food Standards Scheme