22 October 1999

MAMCO leading the way

LATEST industry standard to be secured by go-ahead Borders farming company MAMCO, a subsidiary of CWS, is the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management.

MAMCO, which operates across 10 farms totalling 2630ha (6500 acres), of mostly arable land in the Scottish Borders, spent three years and 15 consultancy days attaining the standard. It is believed to be a world first for an agri-business.

Main feature of ISO 14001 is its transparent traceability, said MAMCO managing director, Doug Niven. "For example, you know that grain from a particular field goes into a specific bin. There is traceability and accountability throughout the system, from seed to end product."

As part of achieving the standard, MAMCOs farms all get an annual LEAF Audit. Environmental improvements have included gapping hedgerows, planting trees and improving ponds.

Precision farming also helps the environment. "In one field winter barley yields varied greatly. By sub-soiling only the poor parts of the field we got a yield improvement. And that saved energy, as we would have previously sub-soiled the whole field." &#42