25 November 1999
Join ACCS, growers urged

CEREAL growers should join an accredited farm assurance scheme or they could face problems finding a market in the future, warns Peter Jones, wheat director of the RHM Group.

He says his company is committed to buying only from members of the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme (ACCS) from the 2000 harvest onwards. He believes other buyers will do likewise.

Jones, speaking on the open day of Grain 99 at the National Agricultural Centre in Warwickshire, says membership would provide growers with a food safety defence.

He added that the scheme also enjoys the confidence of processors, manufacturers and retailers.

Around 8400 farmers producing around 10m tonnes of cereals, or less than 50% of the total crop, are ACCS-audited.

Mr Jones says the scheme encourages the adoption of best practice at farm level and ensures proper record-keeping of chemical treatments.

He believes improving standards over the years has enabled the millers to replace imported stock with home grown for their grists.

Almost 90% of the milling wheat in the 1970s was imported. Domestic suppliers now have 90% of their home market with an expanding export market.