UKASTA:Blow the whistle on abuses

5 October 2001

UKASTA:Blow the whistle on abuses

GROWERS must blow the whistle on merchants and hauliers if they think trade assurance scheme protocols are being breached, says UKASTA.

At the same time the trade body is pursuing certain supermarkets to check that their claims to be selling 100% assured poultry meat and eggs are justified.

If farmer concerns are to stick they must be backed by facts, says Jim Reed chief executive of the trade body which administers the trade assurance scheme, TASCC. "The are lots of accusations going around, but unless we have facts they are very difficult to follow up. Where we have the facts we will investigate."

So far just one case has proved justified. &#42

, a merchant admitting to passing-off unassured grain as assured. "We got them to undertake not to repeat this," says Mr Reed.

He denies that there is a haulage loophole allowing non-TASCC hauliers to haul assured grain to assured stores. "Where assured grain is being taken to a user asking for farm assured grain then the haulier must be TASCC approved."

To that end 297 companies are now TASCC approved and a further 150, mostly hauliers, are awaiting approval, he says.

A greater concern is that some supermarkets may be selling unassured poultry meat and eggs as assured. "We have our suspicions and will be looking to discuss them with certain smaller supermarkets," says Mr Reed. Imports may be muddying the water, he adds.

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