11 April 1997

UKASTA make clear changes

FOOD safety and hygiene concerns have led to changes in UKASTAs arable contracts.

From Apr 7, grain, pea and bean contracts will include a pre-delivery storage clause, which gives buyers a right of access to inspect goods in farm stores.

UKASTA secretary Jeremy Smith said increasing calls for traceability, and the development of farm assurance schemes, were behind the changes.

"To send out a clear message of openness and honesty to everyone in the food chain, these requirements should be met by growers," he said.

Changes have also been made to the disputes procedure. In an attempt to speed up the process and cut costs, disputes involving less than £3000 can now be settled by a single arbitrator.

And specifications for salmonella control have also been widened to apply to all goods, not just those intended for animal consumption.

&#8226 UKASTA, the agricultural manufacturers and merchants group, represents about 375 companies, with a combined turnover of £5bn.n