20 August 2001
ACCS reduces membership fees

By Tom Allen-Stevens

THE Assured Combinable Crops Scheme has claimed that most mixed farmers will see a reduction in farm assurance fees of up to 50% for the 2002 harvest.

But many small, dedicated cereal growers may find fees will rise slightly with the introduction of a new fee banding structure, due to start on 1 October.

The new fee structure, announced late on Friday (17 August), reflects the fact that ACCS can now verify beef and lamb producers to Assured British Meat standards.

In a reciprocal arrangement, since 1 July Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb can now verify cereal producers to ACCS standards.

“There are winners all round in this new deal,” ACC Scheme manager Robin Pirie told FWI on Monday (20 August).

“We always said the price of farm assurance would come down and it has. Its worth noting, however, that the cost of insurance is going up.”

The old six-band ACCS structure, which determined annual fees depending on combinable crop acreage, has been replaced by a new four-band system.

It means the average 170ha mixed farmer, who was a member of both FABBL and ACCS last year, will find his combined fee drops from 325 to 160.

But the smallest cereal growers in last years bottom acreage band (less than 30ha) will find their annual subscription will rise from 95 to 105.

“It is unfortunate that the fees have risen for the smallest producers, but otherwise we would lose money,” said Mr Pirie.

Since 1 July, assured farmers have been able to choose whether to join ACCS or FABBL to provide all their assurance needs for beef, lamb and cereals.

The standards remain the same, although just one annual verification visit will be made to check all enterprises on a members farm.

Actual fees offered by the two assurance providers are very similar, although ACCS now offer the option of splitting the subscription over two dates.

Combinable crop, beef and lamb assurance fees, 2001-02:

Combinable Crops only ACCS Membership Fee FABBL Membership Fee
1 to 79ha 105 120
80 to 200ha 120
201 to 249ha 155 170
250ha plus 175
Joint Members
Combinable Crops +
ABM Beef and Lamb standards
Add 40
Beef and/or Lamb only (to ABM standards) 75 85
Reduction for existing FABBL members 10

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