12 June 1998
Premiums at risk in quality assurance schemes

THE farming page in The Scotsman carries a comment piece on the Scottish Quality Cereals Scheme and the Assured Combineable Crops scheme for England and Wales.

The Scottish scheme, which was set up four years ago, has 1,500 members – more than half of the countrys cereal growers. However, there are just 5,000 growers out of a possible 50,000 in the scheme which operates in England and Wales.

Fordyce Maxwell, who wrote the article, attacks Rad Thomas, chairman of the oil, protein and fibres committee of the NFU of England and Wales, for suggesting that the scheme was becoming nothing more than a “production tax” at a time when farmers can least afford it.

Mr Maxwell said the industry doesnt need these doomsday predictions which are in direct opposition to NFU policy. He argues that industry should consider the scheme more as a means of defending existing markets rather than carving out new ones.

Mr Maxwell said it has only been a few months since Mr Thomas was a contender for the NFU presidency. “Would he have tried to have the scheme scrapped if elected?” he asks.

  • The Scotsman 12/06/98 page 30