23 Mar 2023
by Oli Hill, Simon Williams

AIC at 20: Maximising trade assurance benefits for minimal inspection burden


As AIC marks 20 years as the UK agri-supply industry’s leading trade association, we're looking back at some of its greatest achievements since it was founded in 2003.

Each week throughout 2023, we’ll explore a major achievement where AIC represented its Member businesses, promoted the benefits of modern commercial agriculture in the UK, and supported collaboration throughout the food chain.

This week we look at how AIC Services worked to gain important recognition from government bodies, maximising the benefits of its assurance schemes while minimising audit burden.

Assurance benefits

AIC Services owns and operates many assurance schemes for specific sectors within the UK agri-supply sector, serving more than 4,000 Participants.

These schemes minimise the risk of feed and food safety incidents and ensure legal compliance, while providing a due diligence defence for each of the participating businesses.

In 2014, three of these schemes – the Feed Material Assurance Scheme (FEMAS), Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops (TASCC) and the Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS) – gained valuable earned recognition status from government authorities.

This automatically grants certified Participants a lower risk rating with enforcement authorities, such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

It means that official inspections are reduced, and enforcement officers take into account the certification of a business when risk assessing the work it does because it is part of a robust and highly-trusted assurance scheme.

As well as vastly reducing the management and admin time required to accommodate official inspections, earned recognition also minimises the risk to businesses if the Government was ever to introduce charges for visits.

Today, AIC Services continues to work with the FSA and VMD to maintain this valuable arrangement for its Members and scheme Participants.

Find out more about AIC Services trade assurance schemes on the AIC website and by watching the video below.

Make sure you're following AIC on Twitter and LinkedIn for regular updates.

Visit the AIC at 20 webpage for more content like this.

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Oli Hill

Oli Hill

Communications Manager, AIC

As Communications Manager, Oli creates and oversees the content published on AIC's website, emails, Member briefings, print publications, and social media.

A qualified multimedia journalist, he previously spent six years working at Farmers Weekly magazine as a Senior Reporter on the arable team, and latterly as Community Editor. More recently he was Communications Manager at Red Tractor.

[email protected]
01733 385230

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Simon Williams

Simon Williams

Technical Manager, AIC Services

Simon Williams is Technical Manager for AIC Services. He is based at AIC Head Office, Peterborough and is responsible for the management and coordination of the FEMAS and UFAS assurance schemes as well as being the key contact for mutual recognition with European scheme owners and managing Earned Recognition relationships with UK feed and food competent authorities.

Previous to his role with AIC, Simon was employed in a variety of technical roles in the food industry covering primary and further processing of meat, breakfast cereals and a product technologist role with a major retailer.

[email protected]
01733 385245

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