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New Research Leads to Composting Progress

03 July 2008

UK - New research into quality composts derived from green waste that meet the BSI’s PAS100 specification has led to a partial lifting of the moratorium on the use of such composts on Quality Meat Scotland Assured farms.

The Green Compost Scheme UK - New research into quality composts derived from green waste that meet the BSI’s PAS100 specification has led to a partial lifting of the moratorium on the use of such composts on Quality Meat Scotland Assured farms.

The Board of QMS and NFU Scotland have agreed the move following assurances from the research carried out by The Macaulay Institute’s Land Use Research Centre and funded by WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme) Scotland. Additional controls will be required on its application to QMS members’ land.


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"I am delighted that we have been able to find a robust solution for green waste usage that’s safe for both consumers and livestock."
Chairman of the QMS Cattle and Sheep Assurance Scheme Standard Setting Body Michael Gibson

Chairman of the QMS Cattle and Sheep Assurance Scheme Standard Setting Body Michael Gibson said: “There’s been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes and I am delighted that we have been able to find a robust solution for green waste usage that’s safe for both consumers and livestock. This has come about by a careful process evaluating the science and designing management solutions to satisfy the needs of all in a pragmatic way.

“An Interim Green Compost Scheme should be up and running very shortly, well in time for this year’s winter sowings. Assured farms can plough down approved compost derived from green waste in preparation for combinable crops such as Oil Seed Rape and winter cereals sown for harvest the following year.”

The Interim Green Compost Scheme has been established to speed up the process so that composting companies and Assured farmers can safely use the approved green compost products. It is a provisional measure that will inform development of the new Scottish Soil Improvers Scheme, to be part of the suite of Assurance schemes, governing the use of off farm waste materials, including composts.

Barriers still remain on compost from plants not operating to the BSI PAS 100 standard, which have not yet been demonstrated as safe for use within the Scottish livestock sector to the satisfaction of QMS.

Nigel Miller, Vice-president of NFU Scotland said: “These changes mark a sensible first step forward to allow certain soil improvers to be used on farm in a safe and responsible way. Those who choose to incorporate approved compost derived from green waste into their soils ahead of planting winter crops can now secure some value from doing so at a time when fertiliser prices are going through the roof.”

Dr Richard Swannell, Director of Retail and Organics, WRAP said: “WRAP has been working closely with QMS to address the concerns that they raised around the use of composts on farmland within livestock production systems. I am very pleased that the level of confidence in Scottish green composts is now such that QMS have introduced these interim measures. I look forward to continued close engagement with the team at QMS to resolve their outstanding issues with regard to compost”.

The breakthrough on compost derived from green waste has been reached following negotiation between industry bodies, government, WRAP Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Association for Organics Recycling (formerly the Composting Association), and composting companies.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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