CONTRACTORS APPLYING recycled organic materials to land have been urged to gain accreditation to demonstrate their duty of care

The Spreading Organic Materials Assurance Scheme (SOMA) was launched by SAC Consulting in late 2018 and aimed to provide a professional standard for contractors applying non-farm organic materials such as waste-paper and biosolids to land, to demonstrate they could perform their role whilst minimising the risks to others.

However, with regulations being tightened in recent years, it is becoming ever more important for individuals to gain accreditation.

The use of non-farm organic materials is helping the drive towards Net Zero by using products that might once have been classed as a waste. It also has financial benefits, allowing farmers to buy cheaper recycled materials instead of fertiliser.

SAC Consultant Neil Carter, who designed the scheme, said: “SOMA was created because regulations required operators to demonstrate ‘technical competence’ but there was no definition of what that meant. It provides the standard through which operators can prove that they have technical competence in their role.

“While it was originally set up in 2018, the increasing level of scrutiny at farm level means this scheme is now more important than ever," he continued.

“Changes to subsidy and the move to a scheme in England where farmers need to demonstrate public benefit in order to receive public funds, mean that an accredited standard, which shows that materials are being used properly with minimal risk to the environment, could well stand farmers in good stead.”

For more information about how to apply phone: 01539 769059 or email: