14 November 1997

ACCS growers serious commitment

GROWERS joining the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme should be aware that they are making a commitment to produce grain to a set standard.

That is the waring from Marie Skinner, a member of the NFU Cereals Committee and supporter of ACCS in general. If grain is deemed to have contaminated a food product by not meeting assurance criteria a grower could be seen to be liable, she says. "At the moment it is a case of buyer beware."

She admits she will not join the scheme in its first year. "I would be paying out for no perceived benefit, and would not be at a perceived disadvantage." As more grain goes into the scheme, market forces may change that. "It is only a matter of timing as to when I go in."

Chris Barnes of Cambs co-op Fengrain adds that growers are tending to put the scheme on the back burner. "But the protocols are mostly about record keeping and most well managed businesses are doing enough. We shall promote assurance this winter." &#42