FAQs

The following FAQ's have been drawn together to help and assist you with any queries you may have about the Feed Adviser Register.

What was the reason for developing FAR and where is the pressure coming from?

The FAR was established in 2013 in response to the Governments’ commitment along with industry and customer demands to reduce emissions from farmed livestock. FAR contributed to the Industry Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (GHGAP). Under the Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) the UK Government is legally required to net zero carbon emissions across the UK economy by 2050 and the agriculture sector plays a key part in this. The Government is looking to industry to make this happen, rather than impose legislation on it.  More recently pressure is coming from the marketplace for the feed sector to deliver on wider sustainability criteria, sustainable sourcing, food security and other issues such as the link between livestock production and achieving water quality targets for phosphorus.

Why should I be in FAR?

FAR targets the livestock sector and helps demonstrate to Government the industry’s commitment to reducing GHG production. It helps ensure an acceptable standard of advice is given on farm and that consideration is given to the environment as well as other commercial factors. As part of FAR membership, annual continuous professional development (CPD) is undertaken by all members to keep members up to date with current topics.

What benefits can I as a Feed Adviser get from FAR membership?

FAR recognises standards of professionalism within the livestock feed supply sector, full details of the benefits FAR membership brings to advisers can be found here.  

Do I need to be on the register?

Yes, if you are responsible for designing animal feeds and feeding programmes, providing feeding advice and/or preparing ration plans for pigs, poultry and ruminants. Further details can be found here.

Where is FAR going in the future?

We are working closely with Red Tractor Assurance and BASIS to build on the recognition of FAR membership within the farming community as an indicator of professional advice. The FAR core competency modules are being developed to meet the requirements of an accredited qualification equivalent to the FACTS/BASIS qualification etc., which would give FAR independent recognition of the standards of competence of registered advisers.

Is FAR suitable for the farmer?

If a farmer meets the necessary core competencies, then yes.

Do farmers ask for proof of FAR membership?

Registered Feed Advisers are issued with identity cards enabling them to show proof of membership to farmers. Recently, an online search tool ‘Find a Feed Adviser’ has been launched to enable farmers to search for companies employing registered advisers within their local area.

How is FAR perceived at Government level?

Government is legally committed to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction and feeding animals and crops will be at the top of the agricultural policy agenda for the next 10 years at least. The role of FAR is recognised by Government as part of the Agriculture sector’s commitment to reduce these emissions. Government also understands that regulations can lead to unintended consequences for agriculture and may not be the most suitable and practical approach for industry. It is however likely that the new Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs) will reward farmers with payments for practices which lead to GHG reduction.

How do I join the register?

You can join the register either by registering online or printing an application form from the website. You can also email or phone AIC.

What qualifications do I need to get on the register?

A range of qualifications are accepted including a degree, PhD, masters, in-house or external training course/s in related subjects. 

Who does not need to be on the register?

Traders, shippers, forwarders and others that are not giving feeding management advice

What happens if I am not on the register?

The Feed Adviser Register is a voluntary scheme which is managed by the industry for the industry. It is anticipated that there will be consumer/market pull through for the provision of feed advice by registered feed advisers, particularly with the development of the Environmental Land Management scheme and equivalents in the devolved regions.

Will having staff on the register help my company?

Having advisers on the register will meet some of your company’s requirements under the Climate Change Act in contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the feed sector and also independently demonstrate that the sector is contributing to wider sustainability criteria expected of it, at a national (basic) level.

Will the barrier for getting on to the register be set too high?

No. It isn’t aimed at people who just have degrees and masters, but those who also have the appropriate in-house or external training.

Will the barrier for getting onto the register be set too low so as the register is meaningless?

A Feed Adviser Register Working Group has been established from representatives of the feed sector and is working to produce a credible standard that evolves at a pace that meets the industry and Government’s requirements.

Will the register of Feed Advisers take away our competitive advantage on farm?

The concern is understandable, but existing schemes for agricultural advice have demonstrated this not to be the case. The requirements to join the register are set at a pre-competitive level to address issues common to the whole sector. The register’s objective is to set a minimum standard of competence for advice provision, leaving scope for companies to add value and distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

Who will run the register?

AIC Services will manage the register with input from a Working Group consisting of feed industry representatives. The scheme will reflect a balance of the needs of its members (The Working Group), the livestock industry and government.

Why is a feed adviser register needed to demonstrate that we are helping our farmer customers reduce their GHG/environmental footprint?

Why doesn’t the farmer take responsibility and we look after our environmental responsibility at the feed mill?

Selection of the appropriate purchased feed to compliment home produced feeds and the subsequent feeding regimes that are used on farm have a significant impact on production and profitability but also on the environment. It could be considered negligent to end our environmental responsibility at the factory gates. It would demonstrate that the advice we are providing is of a standard that is effective in assisting the farmer to improve his feeding efficiency and thereby reduce his/her footprint, which will also reflect positively on the feed supply sector. It is recognised that farm activities are also influenced by other farm advisers, assurance schemes, vets etc., and that FAR plays a part in the management of the livestock farming system.

 

We are already contributing to reducing environmental emissions (including carbon) through Climate Change Agreements affecting feedmill facilities and Environmental Permitting Regulations.

That is indeed true. However, that only covers the production of feed and Defra has identified knowledge transfer as a key element in reducing GHG emissions on the farms where the feeds are consumed. The feed industry through imparting best practice with respect to animal nutrition, embracing feeding and feeding management, can assist in the reduction of the GHG footprint on farm and hence has a central role to play.

What are other sectors of the supply trade doing to address the Industry’s GHG Action Plan and wider sustainability commitments?

See: http://aicroadmaps.org.uk/ for full story of all progress made so far and planned.

Other sectors can already demonstrate via entities such as BASIS and FACTS that they are contributing to professional development and knowledge transfer with respect to reducing the carbon footprint on farm.

Are similar registers being set up in other countries around Europe?

Other leading European countries tend to have strict legislation in place to meet various emissions targets where risks are the highest.