“Our customers are asked to plan ahead and continue to engage their advisers and suppliers with their anticipated demand to ensure continuity of delivery of inputs and grain collections is maintained,” said the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).
AIC Services, the arm of AIC that manages assurance schemes recognized by UK government as essential for underpinning feed and food safety, also announced that remote auditing, earlier touted as a potential solution during the coronavirus crisis, will now get underway.
The trade group and the certification bodies said they believe that restarting auditing in this way is in the best interests of the agrisupply industry as a whole.
John Kelley, managing director, AIC Services, commented: “The certification bodies have worked hard to develop new technology to support remote auditing – this will enable existing standards to remain in place, whilst taking into account the current lockdown imposed by the government to control the spread of coronavirus”
Kiwa Agrifood and Lloyds Register will commence remote auditing across AIC trade assurance schemes from Tuesday, April 14.
“The detail of how the auditing will operate for each scheme will be communicated over the coming days as auditors are also trained to use the new systems developed. Participants will be required to pre-load some existing information.. as well as have the ability to have an on-line connection to allow remote access to systems and processes.”
“There will be some limitations on which aspects of each scheme can be audited remotely, in which case shorter on site follow up visits may be required when restrictions are lifted.”
Check out our podcast interview with COO of ForFarmers UK about running feed milling operations during lockdown.
The AIC said that if participants are contacted to arrange a remote audit but due to staff shortages or other issues relating to coronavirus, they feel unable to host the audit, they should contact the relevant certification body to discuss their concerns.
The AIC manages the following schemes in the UK:
Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops (TASCC), Feed Materials Assurance Scheme (FEMAS), Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS) Feed Adviser Register (FAR) AIC Services Palm Oil Credit Scheme (APOCS), Forage Assurance Scheme (FAS) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) as well as crop protection related schemes.