Assurance scheme must be sensible
FARM assurance is a sound principal, but the NFUs Assured Combinable Crops scheme could prove expensive, according to Mr Payne.
"I am all in favour of an independent food authority. We have got to be seen to be whiter than white.
"But from what I have read in the NFU scheme the record keeping required is over-detailed. It seems it is almost as if we will have to make a record every time we apply a gun to a grease nipple."
Independent policing will be essential to convince sceptical consumers, which will be costly, he adds. "But we will get no more money for being assured.
"If we are going the assured route we must not be driven solely by what the consumer thinks is right but is sometimes misguided. The scheme has got to be geared to what is sensible."
Clearly, steps should be taken to keep birds out of grain stores, he says. "But consumers should not forget that they spend a lot of time relaxing on crops in the field!"