Tighter farm assurance
BEEF and sheep producers supplying Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb can expect to face tougher on-farm inspections this year.
Inspectors will use check lists to ensure new members comply with FABBL standards, and the inspectors themselves will be audited more closely.
"The most important thing that FABBL must do is ensure that inspections are carried out to the highest standards," says FABBL chairman Gerald Cowen. This was especially important given the eight-fold increase in scheme membership in the last year from 2000 to 16,000 farms.
He recognises that FABBL inspections could be improved upon and that there must be some kind of secondary audit of the scheme. With that in place he sees no reason why corporate membership should not continue.
"Corporate membership ensures someone is going onto the farm who can give advice on marketing the product. This in itself is of great value to an integrated assurance scheme," he says.