28 May 2020

Grain Industry makes moves to improve Health and Safety of Grain Sampling

The grain industry has for some time been working to improve the safety of “on farm” grain sampling and how samples are taken.

The grain industry has for some time been working to improve the safety of “on farm” grain sampling and how samples are taken.

Mark Worrell, Chairman of the AIC Crop Marketing Sector explains, “In advance of this year’s harvest the AIC are keen to help the industry improve the Health and Safety of ‘on farm’ sampling and ensure farmers are well prepared and supported to adopt improved ways of working.”

“Industry developed guidance from the AHDB on grain sampling, by the grower at store filling, will become increasingly important. Several AIC members have long ceased sending samplers to farm due to safety concerns, and this trend is expected to increase rapidly as we lead up to harvest 2020.” 

Currently merchants send members of their team, or summer students, to farm to take samples which are then tested at a laboratory. Not only does this method present numerous Health & Safety risks, it is not the most efficient or accurate way to obtain a representative and accurate sample.  

The opportunity to send samples direct to merchants is increasing and this will also certainly help minimise any new risks which Coronavirus (COVID-19) has introduced. AIC members will have different approaches around drawing and collecting samples subject to their own internal Health and Safety policies and risk assessments.

In advance of harvest it is especially timely for the AIC to help the farming industry be ready to adopt their own sampling. Grain merchants are keen to support growers and welcome discussion on managing this. In addition, the AIC will be working hard to gain support from all sectors including the NFU.


About AIC

AIC is the UK trade association representing the agricultural supply chain sectors of Arable Marketing, Crop Protection and Agronomy, Feed, Fertiliser and Seeds, since its inception in 2003. In all, AIC represents members responsible for some £9 billion of farm trade. A significant part of its work is political lobbying and influencing as well as supporting members with technical information.

AIC Services, which is the professional services arm of AIC manages a range of services, including Assurance Schemes recognised by UK government as essential tools to underpin feed & food safety alongside fertiliser security.  Currently these include:


Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops


Feed Materials Assurance Scheme


Universal Feed Assurance Scheme


European Seed Treatment Assurance


Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme


Feed Adviser Register


Renewable Energy Directive


Forage Assurance Scheme


AIC Services Palm Oil Credit Scheme


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