Scottish oat growers set to benefit from streamlined Leaf audits

Scottish oat growers can now benefit from a more streamlined and joined-up auditing process to cut back on the costly time and pressure of inspections.

From April, Scottish Quality Crops is offering Leaf Marque certification to its members alongside the annual audit delivered by Food Integrity Assurance.

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This aims to avoid duplication between audits and is particularly relevant to Quaker Oat growers in Scotland, of which there are presently more than 100 farmers all working towards Leaf Marque certification.

Reduce pressure

Scottish Quality Crops managing director Teresa Dougall explains that a key request of members is to minimise the time and pressure of audits.

“As part of this commitment to growers we are delighted to now be able to offer this service to streamline Leaf Marque audits into one assessment where possible,” she says.

Stephen Sanderson, general manager of Food Integrity Assurance, continues: “We are pleased to be approved to certify for Leaf Marque.

“Our priority is to provide a service that focuses on true collaboration with Scottish farmers and producers, adding value to the auditing process.”

One-hit audit welcome

About 75% of Quaker Oats is grown within a 100-mile radius of the Cupar Mill in Fife.

Local  grower John Hutcheson is one of the founding members of producer organisation Oat Co, and says a “one-hit audit” is very welcome.

Mr Hutcheson adds that the metrics provided by Leaf Marque have an international standing.

“This should ensure growers secure value as they help customers meet sustainability goals,” he says.

Leaf Marque is a global assurance scheme that recognises more sustainably farmed products, as part of a partnership between PepsiCo and Leaf.

It is widely used and, in some cases, required by large retailers.



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