A report into the benefits of assurance for the UK meat and livestock sector suggests that there is a need to increase the momentum of assurance as a means of protection.
The report, which was commissioned by the Meat and Livestock Commission and carried out by Imperial College London, claims to have exploded the myth that farm assurance is prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of farmers.
It has noted however, that there is still a negative perception over the value of assurance in the minds of many English livestock producers.
This was despite the fact that membership of an assurance scheme is a condition for market entry for a significant proportion of English production. The findings conclude that there is a major communication challenge to theassurance industry on the benefits of assurance.
The report also highlights the positive opportunities for the industry. Consumer research showed strong evidence to support the view that many British consumers would switch to a known 'farm assured product and some would be willing to pay a premium' if they were made more aware of what farmassurance stands for.
Commenting on the report, Ian Frood, chairman of Assured British Meat said:"The study clearly highlights the potential benefits of assurance and wewill take up the challenge of better communication to producers andconsumers."
English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) chairman John Cross said: "This study has carried out a thoroughanalysis of the value of assurance for English cattle and sheep producers.It will be invaluable for EBLEX as we take our marketing strategies forward."
Stewart Houston, chairman of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) said: "The information in this study is a very helpful guide for BPEX future priorities. I was particularly encouraged by the high level of consumer recognition of the Quality Standard Mark."
Copies of the report are on the MLC website .