25 March 1999
Arable group set to do for ACCS
A GROUP of arable farmers in the Midlands has started a campaign to wreck the Assured Combinable Crop Scheme, and claims to have the support of thousands of like-minded farmers.
The group leaders, who have asked not to be identified, will meet NFU president Ben Gill next week and call for the ACCS to be dismantled.
A spokesman said: “We believe the scheme is profit-driven and hands more power to grain buyers. The scheme does not improve the quality of grain, costs farmers money and means we are less able to compete with foreign imports.
“In our first week of operation we have had thousands of farmers contact our phone line. Four major grain buyers were among the callers,” he said.
He added that he was also concerned that the ACCS was established with farmers money in the form of a £56,000 loan from the NFU and that the auditing company Checkmate benefited considerably.
Chairman of the ACCS Jonathan Tipples responded angrily saying that the scheme had been established in good faith as a single farm assurance venture for farmers.
He added that the auditing company was necessary to provide independent checking and had not benefited from the loan.