Key – Those standards which have greater significance (all other standards are normal)

Recommendation – Those which do not affect certification

New – A completely new standard which the member must now adhere to

Revised – A standard that has changed and requires the member to take some different or additional action to before

Upgraded – The standard has been upgraded to a Key standard or from a Recommendation to a full standard

Appendix – Referenced in ‘How you will be measured’. Indicates that additional information is provided in the Appendices, which are available at the end of each section.

This icon indicates that a record is required.

Where to find help – at the end of each section we have indicated where you can get extra guidance if you need it.

Cropping Categories Fresh Produce

Category 0
Those you can eat raw and have a significant risk or history of pathogen contamination.

Category 1
Those you can eat raw and which do not have a protective skin that is removed before eating; they may also have a significant risk or history of pathogen contamination.

Category 2
Those you can eat raw and which either have protective skin or grow clear of the ground, or that have no history of pathogen contamination.

Category 3
Those that the customer always cooks.

An up-to-date list of the crop categories can be found on the Red Tractor website.





Site Risk Assessments (RA.6) for watercress producers must consider additional, crop specific risks. Preventive actions or mitigation steps are documented where relevant. (New)

How you will be measured


The following risks are considered within Site Risk Assessments (where relevant): - the possibility of runoff of contaminated water from nearby land, roads and on-site tracks - access by animals (domestic or wild) to the production site, including with humans on rights of way - access of animals (domestic or wild) to water sources used in watercress production and associated operations - the possibility of manure storage, spreading and composting operations close to production sites - the possibility of airborne microbial contamination eg in aerosols from slurry spreading and dust from intensive livestock units, both of which may contain pathogens harmful to human health - the possibility of microbial contamination from organic wastes applied to nearby land eg waste/digestate from anaerobic digesters and sewage sludge/biosolids - the possibility of the production site being flooded with water that may be contaminated, for example where rivers and streams contain upstream discharges from sewage works, septic tanks etc or where there are livestock in the catchment - human habitation close to production sites eg discharges from drains or access by domestic animals - public sewers and foul drains, both on-site and off-site nearby - sewage treatment facilities, both public and private, close to or on production sites (both currently and in the past) eg STWs, septic tanks, package treatment plants and cess pits - hazardous waste sites close to watercress production sites (both currently and in the past) - industrial and mining sites close to watercress production sites (both currently and in the past)


Personnel completing Site Risk Assessment are demonstrably competent and have adequate knowledge of the business.

Site Risk Assessment(s)



Measures are in place to manage risks to crop from livestock and wildlife. (New)

How you will be measured


Effective physical barriers (e.g. suitable fencing, gates, cattle grids) at all access points adjacent to livestock areas.


Measures to control contamination from wildlife are present that are commensurate to risk.



Measures must be in place to reduce the risk of liver fluke entering the crop. (New)

How you will be measured


There is demonstrable evidence of strategies to manage the risk of liver fluke, including: - control risk from ingress of surface water - preventative action to exclude mud snails from production beds - effective physical barriers are in place to prevent all livestock gaining access to production sites



Where there is a risk of leakage from foul drains contaminating the crop, drains under the grower's control must be tested annually for leaks, and immediately if a leak is suspected. (New)



Where there is evidence that surface water (run-off from surrounding land or flooding from watercourses) or livestock / wildlife have entered the crop and pose a risk to food safety, follow up actions are implemented and recorded. (New)

How you will be measured


Record and do not harvest where there is evidence that surface water (run-off from surrounding land or flooding from watercourses) has entered the crop.


Staff involved in production are trained to report significant incursions into the crop by livestock and wildlife.


Incursion into the crop by livestock or wildlife that requires remedial action including non-harvesting of crop must be recorded.
  • Incident records and remedial actions
  • Training programme



Additional, watercress specific controls are in place to manage water quality in production beds. (New)

How you will be measured


All water used in crop production and associated activities (including inhouse propagation and washing of substrate) must be sourced from boreholes, artesian wells or springs, or be potable.


Water sources are protected from contamination.


Water sources and distribution systems are mapped.


All water entering production beds must be tested a minimum of four times a year (tests distributed across the production season) or in the case of sources which run intermittently, across the period when they are flowing.


The following water testing criteria is applied: Generic E. coli: - Target: <10 cfu/100ml - Investigate: 10-100 cfu/100ml - Unacceptable: >100 cfu/100ml Where the result is 10-100 cfu/100ml, re-test, record the result and if not returned to the target level, investigate the source of contamination and record the result of the investigation. Where the result is >100 cfu/100ml, crop production using that source shall stop and water be tested for presence of Salmonella and E. coli O157.


Test results must be trended and kept for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Maps of water source/distribution system
  • Water test results
  • Trending of test results
  • Records of investigations



The water in production beds must be flowing. (New)



Members hold a valid Environmental Permit where required for discharge of water from watercress beds. (New)

How you will be measured


A valid Environmental Permit is in place for discharge of waste water from watercress beds.


The business is compliant with any conditions of the Environmental Permit.

Environmental Permit



Bought-in propagation material is produced in accordance with the principles of Good Agricultural Practice. (Revised)

How you will be measured


Batches of bought-in propagation material are produced in accordance with ‘The Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice for Watercress’ and this is verified through a certificate or declaration from supplier.

Certificate/declaration for bought-in propagation material



Seed must be stored in such a way as to prevent contamination by insects and other animals. Seed must be inspected before use and any damaged seed must not be used. (New)

How you will be measured


Storage facilities must be kept in good repair and be checked regularly for infestation.

Records of seed inspection



Traceability systems allow for retrospective traceability of all seeds, seedlings and cuttings. (Revised)

How you will be measured


Documented traceability records effectively identify all seed, seedling and cutting by batch.


Batch information recorded effectively links all seed, seedling and cutting back to source.

Traceability records



The source of each batch of substrate material must be known and recorded. Any treatments must be recorded. (New)

  • Substrate traceability records
  • Records of substrate treatment



Each batch of substrate material used for propagation must be verified as free from pathogens. (New)

How you will be measured


Each batch of substrate is tested against the following parameters (either inhouse or by supplier): - Generic E. coli: <100 cfu/g - Salmonella: absence

Substrate test results of certificate of conformity



Bed substrate must be stored in a manner that prevents contamination. (New)



Fertilisers containing organic materials must have undergone suitable treatment and meet required criteria. (Revised)

How you will be measured


Fertiliser is tested against the following parameters (either inhouse or by supplier): - Target <100 cfu/g generic E. coli - Absence of E. coli 0157, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes
  • Method of treatment
  • Test result or certificate of compliance from producer