2 April 1999

Dairy assurance scheme launch

THE National Dairy Assurance Scheme is to be launched soon, after two years of development and debate.

The scheme, initiated by the NFU, tackles issues such as herd health – including producing a herd health plan – medicines and herd biosecurity. It also considers hygiene on-farm, feeding and contingency plans, Devon vet Richard Sibley told delegates.

"There is a need for assurance, although Im not convinced its driven by Joe Public. However, the industry needs protection against food scares as we are currently particularly vulnerable.

"Assurance schemes are an opportunity to demonstrate standards, as well as develop marketing and branding. They might also help stave off international competition – the USA, New Zealand and Australia introduced farm assurance schemes some years ago, and theyre all after our market."