Red Tractor recognition for Parlour Safe Dairy Accreditation
The Milking Equipment Association (MEA) Parlour Safe Dairy Technician Accreditation is scheme recognised by Red Tractor.
With most leading milk buyers and retailers now demanding certification to the Red Tractor Assurance Dairy Standard, it is vital dairy farmers follow requirements and ensure standards are met, or face losing their customer.
The Red Tractor logo, which has become a trusted and familiar sight on supermarket shelves across the UK, gives consumers confidence in the products they are buying and requires dairy farmers to meet a list of specific criteria to be awarded the certification.
“Within the Red Tractor dairy standard there’s a requirement that the milking machine must be tested at least annually, any faults identified must be rectified and records kept,” says Technical Manager of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme, Jess Sloss, who is responsible for the day to day running of the dairy, beef and lamb schemes.
Also, under Red Tractor Certification for the dairy industry, it is recommended an engineer or technician, who holds accreditation through the Milking Equipment Association, or a similar body, undertakes annual milking machine testing.
“Professional qualifications, accreditation and training are always a good thing, as is professional development,” she said.
Jess also confirmed that because the Parlour Safe Accreditation Scheme for the Milking Equipment Industry is an MEA accredited training scheme, engineers who had undertaken the course would be considered to have the level of competence required to carry out milking machine testing under the Red Tractor Scheme.
“Copies of the records must be available for inspections as well as test reports, delivery notes and invoices, to demonstrate that any faults have been rectified.”
Another element of the Parlour Safe Scheme will be to introduce a standards-based test document format in 2018, to underpin service and allow easy confirmation that necessary maintenance of milking equipment has been carried out on farms.
“At the moment we’ve just gone live with our latest set of standards which are reviewed every three years.” Jess said.
Although introduced too late for consideration for inclusion in the current Red Tractor set of standards, Jess Sloss did confirm that the standards-based test document is something that could be considered when looking at when the next standards are introduced in three years’ time.