Scottish High quality Crops (SQC) has right now (Thursday, September 21) introduced that it’s shifting from an annual scheme to a product certification mannequin to streamline audits for Scottish crop growers.
The SQC mentioned which means that audits can happen all year long and grain passports will be issued earlier within the yr to alleviate the stress of receiving these in time for harvest.
The brand new product certification mannequin will begin on October 1, 2023, according to the brand new scheme yr and distribution of membership renewals.
Manging director of SQC, Teresa Dougall, mentioned the certifier of crops for Scottish growers has been listening to the considerations of its members across the situation of receiving passports in time for harvest.
“Beneath the present annual scheme mannequin, growers have to be audited between October 1 and prior to reap and efficiently full the certification course of on this time to realize assurance,” she mentioned.
“Solely at this stage can passports presently be issued. With the transfer to product certification, we will present rolling certification over 12 months which means that passports will be issued earlier within the season and earlier than harvest begins.
“It would permit assessments to be extra evenly unfold throughout the scheme yr offering our certification physique, FIA, and their assessors with extra time to allocate audits and full the certification course of.”
Dougall mentioned it additionally brings SQC according to different assurance schemes, making it simpler for joint audits to happen the place relevant.
Dougall mentioned there is no such thing as a want for Scottish crop growers to take any totally different motion to earlier years for the brand new product certification mannequin.
“The transfer to product certification will nonetheless require all growers to have an annual evaluation,” she mentioned.
“The largest change is that audits could happen at a unique time of yr and won’t essentially be on the similar time yearly.
“We’re more than happy to be making this transition which can even add integrity to the SQC scheme by permitting for improved monitoring of manufacturing throughout the total scheme yr.”
Patrons can proceed to make use of the member checker to substantiate that the grain is from an accredited web site, SQC mentioned. It confirmed that will probably be working to enhance the effectivity of the member checker subsequent yr.