23 April 1999

Anti-ACCS group in finance plea

A GROUP of farmers aiming to get the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme replaced with a whole farm scheme has called for financial support from farmers.

The group, now known as Midland Farmers Action Group, has written to all livestock and arable producers who have pledged their support so far, urging them to give donations to help with MFAGs "fighting fund".

MFAG spokesman Peter Morton said: "Our resolve against the current schemes has hardened, particularly against the ACCS.

"In our view it is vitally important that assurance should cover the whole farm and be based on common sense."

He added that any scheme should not be run for profit, which would avoid trade domination.

Meanwhile, the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb scheme has announced that membership has now exceeded 18,000.

FABBL chairman Ian Frood said that passing the membership milestone in April had coincided with the first inspections of farms under a revised FABBL and Assured British Meat certification scheme.

Mr Frood said the revised scheme was fully compliant with United Kingdom Accreditation Service standards, giving it international recognition, and he predicted that 30,000 members was now a realistic target.