7 April 2001
ADAS profiteering from epidemic
by Robert Davies
ONE of Britains biggest agricultural consultant firms has been accused of profiteering from government work during the foot-and-mouth epidemic.
ADAS Consulting is making excessive profits from supplying workers for disease control, claims the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants (BIAC).
Independent consultants claim ADAS has offered them work at a derisory fee allegedly less than 30% of the amount paid by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Anthony Hyde, BIAC chief executive, said it appeared that ADAS was exploiting independent consultants short of work because they cannot visit farms.
“They are offering sub contracts for 80/day gross when, we have been told, the company is picking up 280/day for each worker supplied,” he said.
“I totally condemn any organisation that takes an unnecessarily high profit from a crisis like the present one.
“My members are ready to help fight this terrible disease for a reasonable payment, but they are not willing to be exploited.”
One former ADAS consultant, who now runs his own business, was asked to be on standby to supervise animal transport and clean-up operations on farms.
The consultant, who asked not to be named, said that he was shocked at the 10/hour payment adding that he was “not yet a charity case”.
“When I discovered later what ADAS is actually charging MAFF for supplying people to undertake foot and mouth control duties I was disgusted,” he said.
The consultant added: “Profiteering from foot and mouth is the only way to describe what the company is doing.”
A spokeswoman at ADAS Consulting headquarters in Wolverhampton confirmed the company was supplying staff to the Ministry of Agriculture.
She refused to confirm or deny that the company was holding on to more than 70% of the fee, saying that the financial arrangements were confidential.
The Ministry of Agriculture was asked for details of contract with ADAS Consulting but failed to reply to inquiries.