7 September 2001

Farm assurance price wars suck in a third player

THE price wars over farm assurance for harvest 2002 continued this week with a third provider slashing its prices. Genesis Quality Assurance has cut subscriptions by up to 30%, making it the cheapest option of arable assurance for medium-sized units.

The move follows a similar announcement from Assured Combinable Crops Scheme two weeks ago and one from Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb earlier this summer.

All three can now verify to ACCS standards for virtually the same price. Genesis undercuts the competition by £5/farm for 201-249ha (497-615 acre) units and by £25 for 250-400ha (618-988 acre) farms.

Competition welcome

NFU director on the Assured Food Standards board Jonathan Tipples is delighted there is now plenty of competition in the sector, "Id advise growers to go wherever they think theyll get the best deal. Weve had many meetings with Genesis and we are confident they are perfectly capable of doing what they said theyd do."

Since July, the cereals and beef and lamb modules of Genesis have been granted use of the little red tractor AFS logo and many end users have accepted the scheme as equivalent to ACCS.

But ACCS regional manager Paul Calver believes growers should put on the brakes before rushing to the cheapest option. "Our option is the only one that covers fresh produce as well. We also have a proven track record, the experience to do it and a considerable membership."

ACCS has about 12,500 cereal members. FABBL currently has 18,000 members, almost excl-usively all livestock farmers. Genesis has about 6400 fully paid up members. &#42