Final decision on grain passports due by December

A decision on whether digital grain passports should be implemented in the UK is due to be made later this year, according to a document seen by Farmers Weekly.

A timeline has been created by AHDB for industry stakeholders which has a final decision on whether to proceed with the project being made by December.

The development and data groups will continue discussions to develop the business case for the project over the summer, completing their work in September. 

See also: Future of digital grain passports ‘up in the air’

This is then due to be signed off by the leadership group and put out for wider consultation in the autumn.

Support for the introduction of digital grain passports remains mixed, with several millers keen for its introduction and some other parties seeing it as another barrier and expense which will only benefit the bigger players in industry.

The major benefit for growers is expected to be the faster availability of data on intake weights and grain quality, which could help with decision-making for future loads.


But a group of 27 smaller merchants who are unhappy with the proposal has appointed an arbitrator to act on its behalf at discussions.

The group is reported to represent about 4m tonnes of the UK crop.

One trader told Farmers Weekly that by introducing digital passports, people were opening themselves up to a risk from hacking that simply did not need to exist.

“If the system goes down and you are out of action for 20 minutes, that will have a knock-on effect to every single lorry tipping at every single mill for the whole day,” he said.

Several smaller hauliers have also raised concerns about mobile phone signal in rural areas and the haulage companies needing to invest in smartphones and training for their drivers.