Sir, – re Brian Henderson's article on e-passports for grain: It is always easy spending some one else's money – this has already been rejected by the farming community. Why bring the debate back?

You cannot always trace where your mince has come from, or which cow your pint of milk came from either. Once your load of grain is tipped in a store with 1000s of tonnes of grain, traceability is lost.

It can be argued that the grain passport is pointless anyway. When you make the contract all the grain merchant needs is your assurance number and your results can be arranged with your merchant without involving AHDB. Keep it simple and keep it cheap, a penny saved is a penny made, an old saying still very relevant today.

There are far too many people living off the backs of the farming community and in years of poor returns they all still get their levies, holidays, pensions etc. The whole idea of assurance schemes, especially Red Tractor and SQC, should be revisited and simplified (even some inspectors would agree with this) to reduce a great deal of the pointless questions and form filling, electronic or not.

Sadly, I think their own leadership are somewhat blinded by their own agenda – maybe just to make a name for themselves?. I am told that the even the grain trade and maybe others are not really interested in some aspects of the assurance schemes, so what is it for?

At the same time, cut out a great deal of stress, mental health pressure being put on farmers in the farming community – just speak to RSABI, they will tell just how busy they are – as if there are, at times, not enough pressures already. Also, the manner in which some inspectors are behaving shows a lack of understanding of how farms run and operate.

I believe I am speaking for the silent majority.

Patrick Sleigh


Hillhead of Daviot,