All inspections for the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (FQAS) have been cancelled with immediate effect, the Irish Farmers Journal understands.

Under the scheme, beef and sheep farmers are required to have an inspection every 18 months.

However, in the dairy and pig sectors, quality assurance inspections under the Red Tractor scheme will continue.


Guidance published by Red Tractor states that the assessor will contact the scheme participant before the inspection to ensure that they are not in self-isolation or the farm has specific control measures in place.

“Where both the member and assessor mutually agree, then the Red Tractor assessment will take place,” the guidance reads.

The Red Tractor scheme is managed on a UK-wide basis, where FQAS is a Northern Ireland-specific scheme that is affiliated to the Red Tractor beef and lamb scheme in England.

Additional reporting by Tom Morrow.

Read more

Virus impacts business on NI farms

Cattle numbers surge in marts