17 September 2001
Assurance schemes cut member costs

By FWi staff

TWO farm assurance schemes have set up a new membership category which they say will save farmers money by reducing the number of inspection visits.

The move, by Freedom Food and Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb, follows other moves to reduce costs in the farm assurance sector.

The plan will involve a single inspection for beef cattle and sheep where on-farm animal welfare is sufficient to meet the RSPCAs Freedom Food standards.

The combined scheme will offer membership and inspection at a single cost of 140 plus VAT – a saving of about 65 to beef and lamb producers.

FABBLs Phillipa Wiltshire said the strategy would validate welfare standards and potentially boost the membership of Freedom Food

FABBL was initiated in 1992 to provide a nationwide farm assurance scheme to increase consumer and retailer confidence in British livestock production.

Freedom Food chief executive Mike Sharpe said the aim was to deliver maximum advantage to producers with reductions in total inspection costs.

It is hoped that the new membership category will allow sales under the Freedom Food certification mark and the British Farm Standard logo.