There is a clear benefit to being farm assured.

Farmers will have heard that message time and time again, but in a world which now needs the industry to pull together as one force, there really is a benefit.

And it doesn’t have to mean extra red tape or bundles of paperwork, says Assured British Meat’s chairman Ian Frood.

“Standards are set to ensure food safety, traceability and animal welfare to help producers meet legal requirements.”

ABM act as a standard setting body for beef and lamb assurance under the Red Tractor and licence two inspection bodies to operate their standards on farm – FABBL and CMi.

“Although both operate the ABM standards, having two licensed certification bodies provides a certain level of competition in the market place, as well giving farmers a choice,” explains Dr Frood.

And it’s ABM’s role to monitor how standards are performing and assess possible methods of improving knowledge transfer in the beef and lamb sector.

“When standards are routinely met with ease, showing few or no non-conformances, we review the need of having them as a standard or whether the benefit of having them can be shown positively within the industry.”

It’s about sending out a clear message to the whole of the chain, he adds.

Often when non-conformances are highlighted on farm, he says they only take a couple of minutes extra time and cost little to rectify.

“Once minor non-conforman-ces have been highlighted they can be rectified almost straight away,” reckons Dr Frood.

But going through your assurance booklet before a visit can often save time and extra work after the inspection, he adds.

chrissie.lawrence@rbi.co.uk