The (NZGFA) is calling on fertiliser spreaders up and down the country to have their say ahead of a review of the industry’s Spreadmark programme.
Dean Brooks, the NZGFA’s president, says the programme – which was first developed in 1994 to raise the standard of fertiliser spreading performance and to provide a benchmark for best practice – will soon be reviewed by the Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC).
“Spreadmark accreditation provides a robust standard for the ground and aerial spreading industries in New Zealand. It gives farmers and growers quality assurance that their fertiliser has been spread accurately and evenly by highly trained operators,” he says.
“However, the scheme has not been reviewed since 1999 when the Spreadmark test process was altered. This is a great opportunity for the spreading industry to have its say in how this initiative can be fine-tuned to provide even more value to this important aspect of farming.”
Mr Brooks adds that farmers, growers and fertiliser users are increasingly realising that one of the best ways they can provide ‘proof’ of their spreading GMPs (good management practices) to suppliers is by using a Spreadmark accredited company.
However, he recognises that not all fertiliser spreaders in New Zealand are affiliated to the scheme.
“It is really important that we survey fertiliser spreaders and include our findings in the Spreadmark review process. If there is an issue preventing someone from joining this scheme, we need to know.”
Fertiliser spreaders are invited to submit their feedback by email to the NZGFA executive director, Kevin Geddes at firstname.lastname@example.org
The FQC will soon confer with industry auditors, industry members, food processing companies and the NZGFA to work through all aspects of the Spreadmark programme.