12 May 2000

ACCS promise of big reforms

GROWERS can expect sweeping changes to the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme when UKFQCs administration contract expires.

"It will be a very different scheme and there will be competition involved in the verification process," said scheme chairman, Jonathan Tipples, earlier this week.

His comments followed the announcement of a 10% discount on membership renewals for harvest 2001, the last year included in the current deal.

Growers registered with both ACCS and the Assured Produce Scheme will also receive a 33% cut in their secondary membership fee.

How it will be determined which enterprise is the secondary one has not yet been finalised, he said. "It could be on crop area, or value. Value makes more sense but it will be much more difficult to manage."

A single verification visit will cover both schemes for growers with combinable crops and potatoes or most other vegetable crops. But due to a shortage of suitable verifiers, specialist enterprises such as mushroom growing will still require a separate APS check.

"By introducing these discounts we are responding directly to the demands of our membership to drive down the costs of assurance to the producer," he says. &#42

ASSURANCE ADVANCES

&#8226 ACCS and APS joint verification.

&#8226 33% discount on second scheme.

&#8226 10% ACCS discount for harvest 2001 for renewing members.

&#8226 More reforms to follow.