UKASTA SCHEME CREDIBILITY
THISyears FAAS has been extended and additives must give satisfactory monitoring results in addition to giving good trial data.
"It is very important that the additive the farmer is using is the same product that gained approval on the basis of its performance in the scientific trials," says Tony Moore of ADAS Wolverhampton.
"The industry recognises that it is in their interest that farmers have confidence in additive products on the market and because of bad publicity in the past are keen to ensure quality control is enforced."
The monitoring is carried out independently by ADAS on behalf of UKASTA and is a two-step process. Firstly, the forage additive manufacturer or distributor produces a dossier detailing how the products are made. It also explains what quality control checks are in place to ensure the final product always contains the correct levels of active ingredients.
"It must tell us what the company is doing to ensure sufficient checks are made to guarantee that the farmer is getting a good product," says Dr Moore. "We want to know where its made, how its blended, what quality control checks are carried out, and what happens when the checks suggest the product is not up to standard."
Technical experts inform UKASTA as to whether or not the quality control procedures are up to the required standards. The second step in the monitoring process is the testing of products for level of active ingredients. Samplers visit additive distribution points, and select products at random which are then tested in laboratories for all active ingredients as claimed by supplier. Three samples of every product are taken twice a year. UKASTA is informed as to whether the results are satisfactory or otherwise.
"The pass rate has been high demonstrating the care being taken by manufacturers to implement good quality control procedures," says Dr Moore. Sampling and testing is now underway and every product on the UKASTA list has been sampled once this year. Next year the full sampling procedure will be in place.
"Results have been excellent with under 5% of products failing the tests. Where problems have been identified this has been taken up with the companies involved. Improvements will have to be made and failure to do so will result in the relevant product being removed from the FAAS register."
• Product monitoring only covers the product up to delivery on the farm. *