26 December 1997


I AM appalled. The whole idea seems to be a license for some unknown verification organisation to print money with no benefit to me."

That is Philip Godfreys perception of the ACCS. Although he believes he can meet all the requirements, he has no intention of registering until a two-tier market forces him to do so.

Existing legislation already ensures a safe grain supply, he maintains. "As long as we can show we stick to the Codes of Practice and label recommendations, that should be enough. We should not have to join an expensive scheme."

Detailed agronomy records, including chemical and fertiliser application, are kept. And grain stores have been revamped over the past three years. "I have no problem showing end users both. But I object to a private, profit-making organisation having access to all my information."

Cost also riles him. He farms 274ha (677 acres) at Wood Farm, Bluntisham, Cambs, so falls into the top subscription band; £350 for the first two years of the scheme, and £350 a year after that.

"The verifiers wont have to check each farm every year. They will just write to see if we are sticking to the rules. There is no way its going to cost that much.

"I thought the idea was to assure the quality of the end product. Most of the guidelines dont seem to address this at all. Instead, its investigating the way we run our business, which is a gross interference."

Philip Godfrey reckons enough legislation is in place to ensure a safe grain supply. He believes further checks through the ACCscheme are a gross interference.

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