Covering the production of crops across the country, Scottish-based FIA will be responsible for the assessments through to the provision of certificates for all the quality assurance schemes which SQC currently operate.
Teresa Dougall, SQC managing Director, said that the transition would take place over the coming months with FIA formally taking on the contract from 1 October 2022 - the start of the SQC scheme year.
“SQC members will continue to be audited as normal for this current scheme year and there will be no change to any of the service provision,” said Dougall who added that talks were underway with FIA to ensure a smooth transition and to ensure that members were kept up to date at each stage of the process.
She said that Scotland had taken the lead in the development of farm and quality assurance schemes when Scottish Quality Cereals was launched in 1994, with the change to Scottish Quality Crops in 2007 - to reflect the fact that all combinable crops were now included within the scheme standards.
“SQC now work closely with their 3200 farmer members to firmly place Scotland's combinable crops at the premium end of the UK and European markets.”
The scheme aims to provide industry and consumers with total assurance that cereals produced for the food chain are not only fully traceable and managed to safeguard food safety but also focus on the increasingly important sustainability requirements of the sector.