8 September 2000

VARIETAL purity of milling wheat has been brought into sharp focus by new contract terms from Smiths Flour Mills.

Smiths trading terms with merchants now include wider potential for claims against the seller if the variety delivered proves not to be that sold.

This will include compensation for poor end-user performance and the full cost of testing and downgrading of the total stock into which the consignment went.

Smiths new terms allow claims to be made up to three weeks after the lorry has tipped. However, the UKASTA No 1 contract states that merchants must confirm claims against the farmer seller within two business days of the grains arrival at its ultimate destination. That means they are unable to pass claims back to the grower without a change of trading terms. UKASTA hoped that would not be needed.

Merchants contacted by farmers weekly all said it would make them more cautious about which farms they used to supply Smiths.

No one from the company was available for comment.