18 June 1999
Confusion over assurance debate

By FWi staff

A DEBATE between directors from the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme (ACCS) and its rival, the new Genesis scheme, has been cancelled amid confusion.

Jonathan Tipples, chairman of the ACCS, had been approached to speak at a meeting about assured crops next Monday (21 June).

Mr Tipples agreed to speak at the event, which was arranged by the National Farmers Union as a head-to-head debate at Moulton College, Northamptonshire.

But the debate has since been cancelled after Genesis directors claimed they had a more important meeting with supermarket representatives and the supply trade.

A Genesis spokeswoman denied speculation that her organisation was deliberately pulling out of the confrontation with ACCS representatives.

“We cant unfortunately be in two places at once,” she told FWi. “But were certainly not running scared.”

Genesis claims that its attempt to tempt farmers away from the ACCS farm assurance scheme has “created great interest” with producers.

Managing director Martin Barker said he was “overwhelmed by the level of support” for the Genesis scheme at the Cereals 99 event this week in Hertfordshire.

More than 3000 leaflets explaining the Genesis scheme were distributed at the event and farmers are inundating the phone-line with requests for copies, he said.

The established ACCS scheme claims to have more than 8000 paid-up members, however, representing almost 2 million hectares.

ACCS director Richard Whitlock said that it doesnt want the two organisations to become confrontational in their outlook

“We must go forward in a practical way,” he told FWi. “We should be talking about food safety not squabbling over schemes.”