Commissioners to work with industry on Farm Assurance Review

Commissioners to work with industry on Farm Assurance Review

The next steps of an independent evaluation of the UK’s farm assurance schemes have been announced by the commissioners of the UK Farm Assurance Review.

The commissioners will communicate with members of the sector as it works on decisive outcomes for industry.

The project was set up by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), as well as the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), NFU Scotland and NFU Cymru.

Lead project commissioner and former vice-chancellor of Harper Adams University, Dr David Llewellyn, will work with three other commissioners to aid in the “repurposing of UK farm assurance for a post-Brexit world”. Joining Llewellyn will be James Withers, former CEO of Scotland Food and Drink and Mark Suthern, chair of trustees for the Farming Community Network, while a fourth commissioner will be appointed in due course.

The project will include an assessment of best practice, consideration of how methods of assurance can provide value to primary producers in a fast-changing environment and provide an evaluation of the relationship between assurance and regulation.

Llewellyn said: “The programme of work, which will cover seven distinct stages, will be aimed at letting anyone, or any organisation, that wants to share their views on this important subject be able to do that, regardless of where they sit in the supply chain.

“The commissioners welcome this engagement. We expect to involve farmers and farmer organisations, policy makers, food processors, retailers and consumer groups, as well as relevant trade associations and representative bodies. The work will go on until the end of the year, and periodic updates on progress will be issued to the farming and food community.

“We will be seeking contributions to the Review, over the next few months, via an online survey, submissions of evidence from representative bodies and, where required, interviews and online focus group discussions. We want to ensure that we understand what works, and what doesn’t work, with assurance systems, so as to recommend ways in which the operating environment for the farming industry can be improved.

“Reporting to the commissioners and not directly to the sponsors of the review, in order to ensure its independence and transparency, Promar International, working with Supply Chain InSites (SCI), will be supporting the work of the Commissioners for the duration of the Review.”

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