25th February 2011

Update on use of recycled waste materials by members of Cattle and Sheep Assurance Scheme

Following assurances from the Food Standards Agency on the use of recycled waste products on agricultural land accessible by ruminants, Quality Meat Scotland has announced a partial relaxation of the rules in the Cattle and Sheep Assurance Scheme.

QMS has received confirmation from the Food Standards Agency in Scotland, as the appropriate government regulator, that the treatment and recovery of composted waste materials (including animal by-products and catering waste) for application on agricultural land does not pose unacceptable risks to food safety. This is provided such application and the composting or biogas treatment is carried out in accordance with the appropriate regulatory requirements.

This confirmation, coupled with current research by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has enabled the QMS standard Setting Body and the QMS board to allow green waste derived compost and anaerobic digestate containing animal by product to be applied to land used for growing combinable and oil seed crops.

“In light of this, green waste derived compost and products of anaerobic digestion containing animal by product produced and applied under the criteria specified in the farm assurance standards is now allowable under the scheme,” said Michael Gibson, chairman of the QMS Cattle and Sheep Assurance Scheme.

“However, this relaxation does not allow such products to be applied to grassland or other crops where cattle and sheep can have contact with soil treated with these types of soil improvers or fertilisers,” added Mr Gibson. This remains a major non-compliance and will result in suspension from the scheme.

Any member using these types of product must ensure they have a declaration letter from the manufacturer compliant with the requirements in the standards and notify SFQC of where and when this type of product has been used on their land using the Off Farm Recycled Waste User Notification Form.

This change will take effect as of Tuesday 1st March 2011 and anyone with any queries is asked to contact either QMS on 0131 472 4040 or SFQC on 0131 335 6602.


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