Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has led a delegation to meet with Jim Mosley, Chief Executive of the Red Tractor scheme.
Mr Irwin said the meeting last week was important and gave an opportunity to discuss some of the issues around the scheme operation that cause Northern Ireland farmers concern.
Mr Irwin said: “I am grateful to Mr Mosley for taking the time to visit Northern Ireland to facilitate a meeting on what are genuine concerns amongst farmers as to some elements of the Red Tractor scheme in Northern Ireland and the issues this presents.”
He added: “I have had a number of conversations with farmers since I first raised this matter some weeks ago and there is a growing concern that the unannounced inspections element of the scheme causes significant logistical difficulties for farmers who also hold down other employment and are not at the farm on a full day basis.”
He continued: “Mr Mosley took all our concerns on board and gave an assurance that he will deliberate on the matters raised and I know that whilst the Red Tractor scheme has significant benefits and gives consumers total confidence in our very high quality produce, the scheme must also be workable and not burdensome to the point of being detrimental to any farm operation. Our discussion also included other details of the scheme and I look forward to further updates from the Chief Executive on the issues raised on behalf of farmers. Farmers must have confidence in the scheme going forward and I will continue to work with Red Tractor to ensure farmers concerns are highlighted and hopefully a satisfactory conclusion is reached.”