Food Standards (AFS)
undertaken two projects for Assured Food Standards (AFS), an
independent organisation set up to manage the 'little red tractor'
stamp of approval that can seen on many supermarket products. The
standards AFS set cover a range of sectors, including beef and lamb,
pork, poultry, dairy, vegetables, cereals and oilseeds, and sugar.
These are covered by 6 schemes:
Dairy Farm Assurance standards
project, compared the standards for 6 schemes to the Cross Compliance
measures. The objective was to identify the gaps and commonalties
between the scheme standards and the range of Good Agricultural and
Environmental Conditions (GAECs) and Statutory Management Requirements
(SMRs) that form Cross Compliance (in 2005). Farmers need to meet all
the GAECs and SMRs that apply to them in order to receive their Single
Farm Payment. This comparison exercise was undertaken to help explore
the potential role the schemes may have in relation to cross compliance.
project compared the 6 AFS standards to each other to identify areas
where some harmonisation may be possible. The first step was to assess
what components of the AFS standards are generic to all farms. This
provided a full spectrum of generic activities that are assessed by all
the AFS standards combined. A comparison exercise was then undertaken
comparing the 6 AFS standards to the generic suite of farm practices.
This highlighted the key similarities and differences between the
different standards and assessed, where appropriate, the different
approaches taken by the standards with respect to style, format,
wording and general approach. The remaining components of the standards
(i.e. those that are unique to specific sectors), were examined in
terms of their structure, such as order of questions and format etc.,
to explore any similarities in the approaches taken.