15 March 2002

Genesis stock OK

CATTLE registered under the Genesis QA scheme are just as marketable as stock assured by any other scheme, says its managing director, responding to changes to Assured British Meat standards announced in February.

These changes include the announcement that from March 2003 cattle have to be resident on an assured farm for 180 days to qualify, rather than the current 90 days (News, Feb 15).

Genesis QA managing director Martin Barker says that cattle from its members fulfil the requirements for residency on assured farms, as it requires stores to be purchased from farms in an assurance scheme.

"However, ABMs announcements on residency periods and transport may well be anti-competitive and work against the best interests of farmers and the food chain." Genesis is currently seeking clarification on a number of issues, including the requirement to use ABM-approved hauliers and is advising producers not to be panicked into changing schemes.

"Surely the important thing is to encourage store breeders to become assured under an approved scheme and demonstrate their stock are reared to agreed high standards." &#42