Unassured grain claims rebuffed

28 September 2001

Unassured grain claims rebuffed

By FWreporters

GROWING concern that unassured grain is seeping into ass-ured grain outlets has been re-buffed by the trade and has prompted one scheme organiser to appoint its own inspector to stamp out any lingering abuse of the system.

Growers fear that traders and end-users, facing a reduced UK harvest, are back-tracking on earlier statements that they would only take assured grain.

A number of growers contacted by farmers weekly this week claim loads of assured wheat have been topped up with non-assured grain and non-assured UK grain is being delivered to assured-only mills.

Assured Combinable Crops is now so concerned that it has employed an independent investigator. "We have put a ferret in the system," says ACCS chairman Tony Pexton.

"He has been following lorries destined for assured delivery points, such as millers, maltsters and feed compounders, to ensure the integrity of assured grain is preserved.

"If end-users are demanding assured they must get true assured grain. If they are receiving transformed grain that is completely unacceptable."

But farmers insist bad practice is on the up. "My neighbour who is not assured has suffered a good £2/t penalty on price, yet his and my wheat have been going on the same lorry," said Kent grower and ACCS member Ross Douglas.

The Trade Assurance Scheme, TASCC, has also been called into question after a company with a TASCC-registered grain store alleg-edly took in non-assured grain and sent it out with TASCC stickers.

"We receive many allegations, which reflect the competition in the merchant and haulage trade, so have to be careful about which ones warrant action," said UKASTA company secretary Jeremy Smith. In this case there was no proof and the company was given a stern warning.

Every parcel

Meanwhile, end-users accused of unwittingly or knowingly accepting non-assured grain as assured ask where is the evidence.

"To my knowledge every parcel we take in is assured," said Allied Mills wheat director Mark Hughes. "We have rejected a number of loads for misrepresentation. Where it does happen we hold those responsible to account."

Rank Hovis wheat director Peter Jones echoes that, saying he is unaware of any wholesale attempts to bypass assurance requirements or that end-users have changed their stance on intakes. The firm has accepted only assured grain since last harvest. &#42

See more