Merchants blamed over traceability
DESPITE the drive for better traceability of farm produce, many growers are resisting any move towards closer monitoring, and merchants are largely to blame.
That was the message from Michael Banks, managing director of Banks Agriculture, Sandy, Beds, at the national malting barley competition prize-giving in London last week.
"A percentage of the farming industry doesnt realise it has a customer," he said. "The farmer has been well looked after by the multitude of grain merchants, who are only too happy to say they have bought his grain. We as a trade have been idiots." Merchants too often bought a big heap of grain with minimal sampling, he said.
Mr Banks believed rather than rush the farm assurance scheme for grain, the NFU should give it more time. "If they try to get something up and running this year, they will make a lot of mistakes. I think 1998 would be more sensible."n