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First biofertiliser certifications on the horizon

Date Published: 16/09/2010

A scheme to certify digestate from AD plants as a sustainable fertiliser is gathering pace as the first operators prepare for inspection.

The Biofertiliser Certification Scheme (BCS) was launched earlier this year and gives AD plant operators the ability to classify digestate from their processes as a good source of fertiliser for farmers, rather than a waste attracting disposal licence costs.

The BCS is built upon a new industry standard, the PAS 110 and Quality Digestate Protocol, which has been developed by Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL), a subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Association.

Organic Farmers & Growers, one of two certification bodies operating the inspection and certification regime for REAL, has revealed that the scheme is gaining traction with the AD sector and a number of operators are gearing up for their first inspections.

Richard Jacobs, Chief Executive of Organic Farmers & Growers, explained: “It’s still early days but we now have a number of plants which are committed to the scheme and are in the process of completing their applications. The first Inspections will follow soon after and we expect to see demand for the scheme accelerate in 2011 because we have had a lot of interest.

“The BCS makes perfect sense because it removes a potential waste disposal cost and ensures that digestate can be promoted as another beneficial output of the AD process. The more ways the industry has of selling the outputs of AD to the public as benefits, the better it will be for everyone’s future.

“From OF&Gs’ point of view, we’re really pleased to see all of the hard work by everyone involved coming to fruition with the approach of the first certifications.”

Organic Farmers & Growers has been providing certification services for almost 20 years and is one of the UK’s leading government and EU approved organic control bodies. In addition to the BCS and PAS 110, OF&G also certifies composting to the Quality Compost Protocol and PAS 100.

AD plants registering with OF&G for BCS certification before the end of 2010 will be able to take advantage of a 50 per cent discount on charges for the first two years.

More information is available at http://www.organicsrecycling.co.uk.