Food & farming standards
Beef, pork, lamb and dairy are produced in the UK to world-class food and farming standards.
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 Food Standards Agency 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.
Hormones and antibiotics
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.*
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.
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.
From the land, not the lab
The UK’s weather and landscape make it an ideal place to graze cows 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 on the field, only to be bought indoors when it’s too wet and muddy.
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.
There are a lot of mixed messages in the media around food and nutrition meaning it’s easy to get confused. That’s why we’ve started the We Eat Balanced campaign, to provide an evidence-based antidote to the misinformation.
We know that the food choices we make are integral to our health and wellbeing, and a balanced diet is one that offers variety, nourishment and enjoyment whilst remaining in harmony with the environment.
Here in the UK we have a balanced approach to farming, and we want to shine a light on that too. Our farmers are united in their ambition to bring high quality, naturally nutrient rich produce to people, and are continuously driving towards a carbon neutral food industry with high welfare standards at its heart.