The scheme, which was developed in collaboration with Gressingham Foods and Cherry Valley Farms, was set up in 2010 to provide a standard for duck production in terms of food safety, animal welfare, environmental protection and professional development for people working in the industry. Its welfare standards are in line with government recommendations for easy access to feed and water, sufficient space and availability of bathing activity to meet the ducks’ behaviour and welfare needs.
Gressingham, one of the UK’s largest duckmeat producers, has already signed up for the scheme and been awarded assurance.
William Buchanan, Gressingham's managing director, said: “We are proud that Gressingham Duck is now Red Tractor Assured. We have invested significantly in the welfare of our ducks in recent years and this accreditation endorses the high quality standards we strive to achieve for our ducks.
"As a family business that has been going for 40 years it is incredibly important for us to keep improving in every area of what we do and Red Tractor Assurance is affirmation of this.”
David Clarke, CEO of Red Tractor said: “We are delighted that Gressingham Duck is using the Red Tractor logo to demonstrate their commitment to quality food and farming. This move will mean that consumers, for the first time ever, will be able to buy Red Tractor approved duck”.
BPC chief executive Peter Bradnock, said that it was an exciting time for the industry, with more people choosing to eat duck: “Great research advances have been made by the duck industry for the development of new facilities to ensure ducks are given the best possible growing conditions that fulfil all their health and welfare needs.
“Consumers can be assured the ducks they choose have been reared to strict animal health and welfare standards, in line with Red Tractor Assurance standards.”