QUALITY assurance firm Genesis has received a major boost in its bid to become a force in the market following approval of its protocols by several large buyers.

A new push by the company has seen a major feed compounder, Bass, Daylay and several merchants across the country agreeing to accept produce from its farmer members.

The company, backed by the Leavesley Group, a diverse family-owned business which farms 1600ha (3900 acres) around Burton upon Trent and owns Midland Pig Producers, is also holding meetings with farmers leaders to push its whole-farm approach.

James Leavesley, group managing director, says farmers want a whole-farm, single scheme which Genesis is now offering.

“They rightly want savings on assurance today, not in five years time.”

NFU deputy director general Ian Gardner stressed the need for a single standard for assurance schemes after a meeting this week.

“We welcome competition in this area and people who are willing to provide inspection services. The worst outcome would be if every customer insisted on a different set of standards.

“There is a high element of cost to farmers in meeting criteria, and competition should reduce that.”

Genesis claims mixed farmers could save half to three-quarters of the cost of established alternatives.

For example, a medium-sized farm producing cereals, pigs and sheep would pay about 300 to become assured, whereas three individual inspections would cost twice that.

“We are pleased that we have been accepted as an equal. That will be good for the industry,” says Genesis director Martin Barker.

He has ambitious plans for the scheme.

“We have 200 farmers on board at the moment, but 10 times that number are interested, and we aim to have 25,000 within 12 months.”