Archive Article: 1997/12/26

26 December 1997

Assurance doubts are based mainly on cost

Do consumers worry about food safety? Yes. Do retailers want to ensure the food they sell is safe? Definitely. So why the reluctance by arable farmers to join the assured combinable crops scheme?

Cost is obviously a major concern. Few farms can afford to pay up to £350 a year for what is little more than standard farm practice rubber stamped. Further more, if 30,000 arable farms join the scheme at an average cost of £200/year, someone will be gaining £6m.

No wonder most arable farmers are incensed. They know buyers want evidence that UK grain is fit for its use. But is this the most cost effective way of achieving that? It seems unlikely.

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