AHDB Article: Assurance of imported grain

What a load of waffle.

The simple truth is that grain imported into the UK can be grown using banned Pesticides. AIC & Red Tractor KNOW this and they DO NOT test for banned pesticides.

I doubt most imported grain would pass Red Tractor Assurance. Blatant double standards.


"These assurance guarantees are required for the rest of the supply chain to be confident in using the raw material and on selling of the final processed product."

The assurance scheme doesn't involve any "Confidence". The only thing the assurance scheme does is control the price of food traded over the UK farm gate putting the UK farmer in a uncompetative position compared to imports.


"“Farm Assurance: The Seller is responsible for ensuring the goods supplied against the contract meet the requirements of a recognised crop assurance scheme and membership of such scheme remains valid through the movement period."

Farm assurance doesn't guarantee that the food sold is fit for eating. In fact, there doesn't have to be any food involved at all.
Farm assurance doesn't guarantee that the food supplied ex farm meets specification.


"Indicative costs for an individual sample of grain are as follows:"

Large organisations have their own laboratory and staff. They won't face itemised sample costs.


"The costs of importing grain goes beyond the price of individual samples and tests. The total cost of importing will also include fees paid to superintendents, port dues, customs agents, insurance and paperwork as well as costs incurred for participation in assurance schemes."


They admit imported grain is below UK assurance standards and DO NOT test for banned pesiticides. Yet they insult UK farmers saying imported grain is of a higher standard. Fudge Off.


"These contractual tests will be required on both export cargoes leaving the UK as well as imported cargoes into the UK. Therefore creating an average £ per tonne cost for testing would not be representative of the potential costs."

I used to write Business software for large corporations. I developed the production line software for Gerber Foods about 25 years ago. At that time the costs were known EXACTLY for each product run - which went down the level of importing fruit juice from South America 1 year ago. This is done by matching "Purchase Orders" to invoices and "Works Orders" to processes - which will include costs associated by machinery, maintenance, operators etc all with associated costs.

In other words they know exactly what the average costs are of everything all the time and will have records going back for years.
 

carbonfibre farmer

Member
Arable Farmer
"These assurance guarantees are required for the rest of the supply chain to be confident in using the raw material and on selling of the final processed product."

The assurance scheme doesn't involve any "Confidence". The only thing the assurance scheme does is control the price of food traded over the UK farm gate putting the UK farmer in a uncompetative position compared to imports.


"“Farm Assurance: The Seller is responsible for ensuring the goods supplied against the contract meet the requirements of a recognised crop assurance scheme and membership of such scheme remains valid through the movement period."

Farm assurance doesn't guarantee that the food sold is fit for eating. In fact, there doesn't have to be any food involved at all.
Farm assurance doesn't guarantee that the food supplied ex farm meets specification.


If a farmer "Assures" that crops sold meet the assurance scheme. Then why are we audited by Red Tractor which is controlled by AIC ?
 
Basically they've created a story to enable Red Tractor to pretend to continue to be respectable. A farmer could be red Tractor assured and still use these mythical illegal pesticides, they're hardly going to declare anything are they?

It's a bit of a shame to say it in one way but we really would be better off without the AHDB and their compromised ways. They may have some good staff but the organisation isn't really any good at a fundamental level if they can't support their own levy payers with fair market access.

Does it really cost £10-15 to do a moisture test?
 
Basically they've created a story to enable Red Tractor to pretend to continue to be respectable. A farmer could be red Tractor assured and still use these mythical illegal pesticides, they're hardly going to declare anything are they?

It's a bit of a shame to say it in one way but we really would be better off without the AHDB and their compromised ways. They may have some good staff but the organisation isn't really any good at a fundamental level if they can't support their own levy payers with fair market access.
Doesn’t sound like ahdb are doing themselves any favours if arable farmers ever get to have a vote for their future
 
Doesn’t sound like ahdb are doing themselves any favours if arable farmers ever get to have a vote for their future

The thing is they will end up hated and limp on with farmers not respecting them.

And who wants to bother with that. Red Tractor is hated beyond a few spiv farmers on the payroll because we know they are disingenuous.
 

tullah

Member
Location
Linconshire
At least one thing benefits us all. The more lies they tell then the more stupid the idiot owners of RT come across. So Non Farming Union, AHDB and AIC there's a day of reckoning coming to you.
Quite silly of you not to just agree the show is over.
Who would want to be in your shoes beavering away covering up tracks.
 
They can't possibly test imported product, because it sure as eggs are eggs will contain traces of products that are no longer available in Europe. And do you expect the pig and poultry trade to magically go short of soya or prairie meal?

It's the exact same scenario as the GM thing. Can't grow it here but we'll import it by the ship load anyway.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
At least one thing benefits us all. The more lies they tell then the more stupid the idiot owners of RT come across. So Non Farming Union, AHDB and AIC there's a day of reckoning coming to you.
Quite silly of you not to just agree the show is over.
Who would want to be in your shoes beavering away covering up tracks.

Do AHDB own a share of RT? I thought they had just been paying them a sub to ‘help them develop’, until recently?

My apologies if the facts spoil the venom being thrown their way.
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
So @Grass And Grain . After your meeting with them. And the openness and listening they did. About the issues you raised. That they would look into.

Do you believe a bloody word they say now?
I really don't know what they think of us. Not certain if they believe everything they've written, or think we're straw chewers and we'll believe every word of it. That article is purposefully slanted isn't it?

It's fair enough to investigate and get an understanding of what happens with imports. Fine.

However, we've pointed out that we don't need to test our grain because our grain is grown to UK legislative standards. Exactly same reason no-one is suggesting a need to test RT grain.

It's sort of reasonable to test imports because they're grown outside of our legislation, and potentially with pesticides that aren't licensed here. But what does pesticide tested mean? Are they testing ALL pesticides? Or just the odd one or two.

We explained to AHDB how RT was completely junk, because it lets food safety failings be retrospectively corrected, assurance status reinstated as though nothing was ever wrong. We explained how the industry overlooks a failed RT inspection when the grain is mixed in a 4,000 tonne co-op store. We explained how awfully bad GAFTA sampling procedures are, blending and diluting the samples together before a subsample gets sent to the lab. No mention that 27,000 growers are non-assured and that grain is used.

Then there's this little beauty...

"Farmer obligation from an AIC 1/21 contract:
Farm Assurance: The Seller is responsible for ensuring the goods supplied against the contract meet the requirements of a recognised crop assurance scheme"


So what are AHDB going to do about the above paragraph? Is that in the standard AIC farm to merchant contract? Are AIC dictating that all grain must be farm assured? I hope I've somehow misunderstood this.

If you ask me, I'm inclined to say the brief was "write a report on how good imported grain assurance is, and make it look better (and more expensive) than Red Tractor"...."then we can justify our £250k per annum subsidy we've been giving to RT, RT will survive, and it won't be wasted money, and assurance is great, and we don't want to let levy payers have any other workable option other than RT, otherwise assurance will get fragmented and we've given RT a couple of million £££ so that it stays all under one recognised brand and we don't want that to change. We gave the cash to one single private company, and if we hadn't then they might have failed financially. We didn't give any cash to any other assurance schemes, but then we're guarantors to RT, so we're sort of in the ownership structure and if RT had failed financially then we might have had to pay up anyway with levy payers' money. So best to give RT a bung, but don't really tell levy payers we are doing this, let's not advertise the fact, we'll lump it in to 'advertising' when we produce a nice little pie chart of levy expenditure"
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
What is the process to force a vote on scrapping them?
Can't remember the figures exactly, but need something like 3,000 signatures for cereals (or was it 3,800, can't remember), or about 700 signatures for oilseed growers. Think they should have paid levy in past 12 months.

I really wonder if AHDB are going to work for levy payers, or just cosy up to RT.

Do AHDB own a share of RT? I thought they had just been paying them a sub to ‘help them develop’, until recently?

My apologies if the facts spoil the venom being thrown their way.
They are guarantors to RT. No-one seems to want to say if they part own them or not.

What we do know is that there are 2 X board meetings concerning RT. One is the straightforward RT board meeting. The other is the ownership meeting.

If I understand correctly, AHDB had been paying them a sub because RT had a black hole in their accounts. RT went running off to AHDB pleading poverty, AHDB thought they'd better help out because they didn't want RT to get into financial trouble and AHDB like the idea of one solid recognised assurance brand. So AHDB decided to give RT some cash to be used to help pay for auditing the licensees factories (licensees being the processors/packers who use the RT brand on their packaging). Supposedly the idea and justification for giving the sub for this specific reason was that it would help with the reputation of the RT brand because the factories would be audited correctly.

Edit. Surely the licensees would have paid their license fee, so that should have covered the cost of auditing in that license fee? So why would AHDB use levy payers money for this specific reason?
 
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