SFI and Farm Assurance ‘Earned recognition’

topground

Member
Location
North Somerset.
This extract lifted from an email received yesterday. I understood from Janet Hughes posts that there was no plan to link SFI with farm assurance. If I am correct then either Janet Hughes speak with forked tongue or there are parts of her team publishing stuff with contrary information.
What do the collective make of this?

Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot Learning Information Pack 2022
What is earned recognition?
Earned recognition aims to reduce the burden on agreement holders who are consistently compliant in meeting a farm assurance scheme standard. This could allow our delivery bodies to concentrate their monitoring interventions on non-compliant, higher risk agreement holders.
We plan to use the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot to test if and how earned recognition could operate for the scheme itself in the future. For example, if a farmer is seen as already meeting a farm assurance scheme standard, we might be less likely to visit their farm to monitor their agreement.
We’re exploring how a farmer’s membership in existing farm assurance schemes (such as Soil Association or LEAF Marque) might play a role in providing earned recognition for their future Sustainable Farming Incentive agreements. Such membership may help participants prove a strong track record of compliance and could be used to demonstrate their eligibility or compliance for SFI.
We’ll keep you updated with more information about our earned recognition studies.
 

Tamar

Member
Why should someone who chooses to not be assured be penalised by an increased likelihood of getting a RPA inspection.

I would much sooner have an inspection from the RPA, rather than pay the RT.

Hopefully the RT will crash, as they deserve too.
I will be well pee'd off if the Government bails them out by handing them a contract to do the inspections on behalf of the RPA.
 
This extract lifted from an email received yesterday. I understood from Janet Hughes posts that there was no plan to link SFI with farm assurance. If I am correct then either Janet Hughes speak with forked tongue or there are parts of her team publishing stuff with contrary information.
What do the collective make of this?

Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot Learning Information Pack 2022
What is earned recognition?
Earned recognition aims to reduce the burden on agreement holders who are consistently compliant in meeting a farm assurance scheme standard. This could allow our delivery bodies to concentrate their monitoring interventions on non-compliant, higher risk agreement holders.
We plan to use the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot to test if and how earned recognition could operate for the scheme itself in the future. For example, if a farmer is seen as already meeting a farm assurance scheme standard, we might be less likely to visit their farm to monitor their agreement.
We’re exploring how a farmer’s membership in existing farm assurance schemes (such as Soil Association or LEAF Marque) might play a role in providing earned recognition for their future Sustainable Farming Incentive agreements. Such membership may help participants prove a strong track record of compliance and could be used to demonstrate their eligibility or compliance for SFI.
We’ll keep you updated with more information about our earned recognition studies.
Sounds like a question needs to be asked when we next have a video session with @Janet Hughes Defra , if not before then...

I can well imagine RT muscling in and generating a "higher standard" series of tests..
RPA using private assurance schemes to do their inspection work.

Shouldn't be any association between the two bodies imho.

Why should someone who chooses to not be assured be penalised by an increased likelihood of getting a RPA inspection.
We're not proposing to outsource inspections to anyone - RPA will be responsible for scheme compliance, as they are now for existing schemes, but we are introducing a more proportionate, fair and straightforward set of arrangements, building on the changes we've already made to cross compliance and CS inspections https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/20...inspections-and-make-penalties-proportionate/.

We're looking at whether an optional scheme of earned recognition would work for farmers. That would entail those who are in an environmental scheme (eg LEAF or Organic) being recognised as such within SFI and treated for our own inspection purposes as lower risk (and therefore being inspected less). This is a well established principle in other sectors and we want to see if we can usefully apply it here as part of our work to make our compliance arrangements fairer, more proportionate and more effective.

What we're doing at the moment is understanding which assurance schemes are aligned to SFI standards and investigating how an earned recognition scheme might work. If we find that it's a potentially useful thing to do, then we'd test it with our pilot pioneers to see if it works in practice.

We're well aware that there is a range of views on this issue, including concerns about how this might work and who might be involved - we're taking those into account as part of this work too. We'll keep on sharing what we're doing, and seeking feedback as we go, before making any decisions about this.
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
We're not proposing to outsource inspections to anyone - RPA will be responsible for scheme compliance, as they are now for existing schemes, but we are introducing a more proportionate, fair and straightforward set of arrangements, building on the changes we've already made to cross compliance and CS inspections https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/20...inspections-and-make-penalties-proportionate/.

We're looking at whether an optional scheme of earned recognition would work for farmers. That would entail those who are in an environmental scheme (eg LEAF or Organic) being recognised as such within SFI and treated for our own inspection purposes as lower risk (and therefore being inspected less). This is a well established principle in other sectors and we want to see if we can usefully apply it here as part of our work to make our compliance arrangements fairer, more proportionate and more effective.

What we're doing at the moment is understanding which assurance schemes are aligned to SFI standards and investigating how an earned recognition scheme might work. If we find that it's a potentially useful thing to do, then we'd test it with our pilot pioneers to see if it works in practice.

We're well aware that there is a range of views on this issue, including concerns about how this might work and who might be involved - we're taking those into account as part of this work too. We'll keep on sharing what we're doing, and seeking feedback as we go, before making any decisions about this.
Thank you Janet,

Presume this must mean our customer data is being shared to DEFRA by these assurance schemes? I guess it's in their privacy policies, but a bit concerning.

Personally I don't think someone who is NOT in one of those schemes should be penalised or targeted by DEFRA for more chance of an inspection. Just my own view, but if ELMS is separate to LEAF, then they are separate.

Unfair of gov to deliberately target people based on not wishing/needing to be in LEAF. We grow feed grains, no need to be in LEAF or organic.
 

MrNoo

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Cirencester
So because I’m not RT assured I have the chance of being inspected more often?
Discrimination is it not?
Just because I don’t wish to pay a Cartel doesn’t mean my produce is below standard does it.
You’re not really doing a good job of selling this are you Janet.
 

Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
So because I’m not RT assured I have the chance of being inspected more often?
Discrimination is it not?
Just because I don’t wish to pay a Cartel doesn’t mean my produce is below standard does it.
You’re not really doing a good job of selling this are you Janet.
Not at the moment she isn't,
She needs to simplify it and up the payments
plus not have any links with mafia style outfits like RT
 
Thank you Janet,

Presume this must mean our customer data is being shared to DEFRA by these assurance schemes? I guess it's in their privacy policies, but a bit concerning.

Personally I don't think someone who is NOT in one of those schemes should be penalised or targeted by DEFRA for more chance of an inspection. Just my own view, but if ELMS is separate to LEAF, then they are separate.

Unfair of gov to deliberately target people based on not wishing/needing to be in LEAF. We grow feed grains, no need to be in LEAF or organic.
No that's not happening on data sharing - what we're doing currently is asking for volunteers who are in schemes to let us shadow an inspection and talk to us their experience and their views about earned recognition. There isn't any data sharing taking place, and if there was it would have to be GDPR compliant ie you'd need to give permission for your data to be used in that way.

We're not talking about deliberately targeting anyone at all in a punitive way (unless you are actually committing fraud or other illegal activity) - overall our approach is going to be fairer, more proportionate and more supportive. See the changes we've already made to CS inspections as an indicator of the direction of travel on this: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/20...inspections-and-make-penalties-proportionate/
 
So because I’m not RT assured I have the chance of being inspected more often?
Discrimination is it not?
Just because I don’t wish to pay a Cartel doesn’t mean my produce is below standard does it.
You’re not really doing a good job of selling this are you Janet.

Janet said environmental schemes, not RT.
That is correct, it's environmental schemes we're looking at. We're not saying or deducing anything about the quality of your produce, or discriminating against anyone. We're working to put in place a more proportionate, fair, supportive and effective set of controls that work for and are trusted by farmers. This is one idea we're testing to help us do that, based on similar arrangements in other sectors, and we'll take feedback on board about it as part of our work to test the idea.
 

Tamar

Member
@Janet Hughes Defra ...quick questions.

Do the Farm Assurance Schemes share information with the RPA ?
Do the RPA know which farms are RT Assured ?

Personally, I can see the benefit of the RPA knowing which farms are inspected......... but only if that means we then don't need to be inspected by the RPA, Trading Standards or any other Quango in the same year.

But please don't even consider RT to do your inspections. I would sooner give up farming than have those robbing B###ards set foot on my farm !!
 

Make Tax Digital Software Poll

  • Quickbooks

    Votes: 23 18.3%
  • Sage

    Votes: 11 8.7%
  • Xero

    Votes: 52 41.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 40 31.7%

AHDB planting and variety survey

  • 54
  • 5

The AHDB Planting and Variety Survey provides the earliest view of the planted area for the upcoming harvest in the United Kingdom (UK).​


Complete the Planting and Variety Survey

The survey will estimate the area of cereals and oilseed rape intended for harvest in 2022 in the UK. It aims to assess the varietal composition of wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape crops in the UK. The results of this survey will allow the industry to quantify domestic production, at a time when food security is more important than ever.
The information can be used to shape the domestic market and trade and assist levy payers in their marketing decisions. It will detail regional differences of cropping across the UK, which will help...
Top