12 March 1999

Assured grain – TASCC force

FARM assured grain is closer to keeping its status through the grain trade following last weeks launch of the Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops.

The main aim of the scheme is to close the assurance gap between farm gate and first processor, says UKASTA.

That includes a requirement for TASCC members to store farm assured grain separately from unassured grain – but only if grain is being traded as assured. If it is not, mixed storage is still permitted.

Three codes of practice form the backbone of the scheme: storage, road haulage, and the recently completed laboratory analysis code. Scheme members procedures will be independently audited by a UKASTA approved verifier annually, and facilities inspected at least once every three years.

"This scheme has teeth," says Andrew Barnard, chairman of UKASTAs arable marketing committee. "It is providing the integrity of grain between the farm and the consumer."

Entry is not restricted to UKASTA members. For example, farms storing over 1000t of third-party grain in one bulk, the ACCS limit, could register under the scheme.

So far 71 merchant or co-operative grain businesses have registered. If all pass the audit procedures, that will be 70% of 1999 harvest trade, says UKASTAs Jamie Day.

"I would think that is more than enough to handle the volume of farm assured grain. All the major UK farm grain buyers have registered."

Registration costs £100 but audit charges, agreed between trader and verifier, are extra. All laboratories and stores, temporary or permanent, must be included.

Growers can check their merchant or co-op is registered with TASCCthrough UKASTA.

One scheme, 3 codes of practice: storage, haulage and laboratory

Independent, annual verification

All major UK ex-farm buyers registered

70% of 1999 crop TASCC traded?

TASCCFACTS

&#8226 One scheme, 3 codes of practice: storage, haulage and laboratory

&#8226 Independent, annual verification

&#8226 All major UK ex-farm buyers registered

&#8226 70% of 1999 crop TASCC traded?