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Contract renewal sees key changes for compost certification

Date Published: 02/07/2012

The certification of compost to nationally-recognised standards has received its biggest shake-up since the scheme was launched five years ago.

PAS 100 and CQP logo
PAS 100 and CQP certification from Organic Farmers & Growers continues.

It has today been confirmed that Organic Farmers & Growers has been awarded a renewed contract to provide inspection and certification to the Compost Quality Protocol and PAS 100.

In the process, OF&G has responded to a call from scheme owner, the Association for Organics Recycling, to find ways of adapting the structure to encourage take-up by smaller, on-farm operators.

The result of this is a significantly overhauled fee schedule which will put certification within reach of a much wider constituency of composters and thereby expanding the supply of approved compost for use in agriculture, horticulture and other areas, such as public land management.

Organic Farmers & Growers’ Chief Executive, Richard Jacobs, said: “We are extremely pleased to have met with AfOR’s approval to retain our license to operate the CQP and PAS 100 scheme, based on our track record and the work we have done to help develop the scheme into a new, more inclusive phase.

“AfOR made clear that it wanted to find ways to bring more small-scale operators on board, so we set out to meet that brief and I’m very pleased that we have been able to do so. Making fees more affordable at the smaller end of the sector is a great step forward that can only encourage more on-farm composters to become certified and improve the supply of quality compost across the UK.”

The renewal of the AfOR contract, five years since OF&G first entered the compost certification arena, is the second significant milestone for the company in 2012, as the organisation marks 20 years since it became the first Government-approved certifier of organic food and farming in the UK.

Mr Jacobs added: “This is an important year for us as we mark two decades of successfully delivering certification and inspection services. In that time we have built a reputation for friendly efficiency, carefully allied with the rigorous application of standards. It is that experience that we were able to bring to bear on the introduction of compost certification, five years ago, and which we are pleased to also now apply in providing certification for the digestate output of anaerobic digesters, under the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme, on behalf of Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd.

“There is no standing still in this arena though and we continue to innovate, learn and pursue an ethos of continuous improvement to remain at the forefront of our industry.”

OF&Gs’ certification charges, included the new compost schedule, can be viewed here.