An industry-wide consultation on the business case for implementing a digital passport for combinable crop movements will begin on Monday, 20 November 2023, and close on Friday, 2 February 2024.
The business case will set out how the Digital Passport (Combinable Crops) system would operate, replacing the existing paper passport, which has been in use for more than 30 years. The electronic passport will, as now, be initiated by farmers with input from hauliers, before being transmitted to receivers.
Switching to a single, industry-wide digital passport, as set out in the consultation, is expected to improve data integrity and security, provide scope for real-time assurance checks, reduce costs across the supply chain, and increase confidence and credibility to growers, buyers’ customers, stakeholders and regulators.
Live updates of assurance status, prior to the vehicle leaving farms, are expected to reduce the risk of delay or rejection at the receiver’s site. The system will allow for data to flow simply and reliably between farmers, grain merchants and end users such as millers, maltsters and feed mills.
A spokesperson for the Leadership Group said that substantial time has been invested in developing a business case that addresses all the aspects of the new system, from governance to development and operation.
They concluded: “In essence this is a simple change, switching from the pieces of paper currently carried with each load across the country to a digital equivalent in a robust, secure online system. Operationally it would be a marked change, and we are now keen to hear views from stakeholders across the supply chain on the proposal.”
The Leadership Group will look at the feedback received during the 11-week consultation to assess support for the business case and whether it meets industry requirements.
The industry Leadership Group is chaired by AHDB Board member Stephen Briggs. It meets weekly, and includes farmers, hauliers, merchants and processors.
During the consultation, industry representative bodies are inviting feedback on the business case through webinars and meetings. For those wanting to engage with the consultation, it is advised to contact your representative trade association or the AHDB.