Following considerable industry consultation the NZCQA Task Force agreed to proceed with the establishment of a registration based QA system to operate for the 2004 harvest and onward.
The new system replaced the NZCQA diary system and was promoted on the following basis:
- Growers would be required to register with the scheme, agreeing to abide by the scheme rules.
- Growers would not be required to furnish existing NZCQA diaries to grain processors, but would be required to keep all relevant information on crop inputs & grain handling in a form that is ultimately auditable. For most growers this was unlikely to involve any change from their existing diary or computer based systems.
- For the first two seasons audits of grower information would take place, funded by industry participants.
- Further development of the new scheme would take place after the initial two seasons, ultimately providing for independent random audits at cost of growers.
- Grain processors would have access to the registration database to confirm individual grower registration.
- Some grain processors may have chosen to make the furnishing of further information a contractual obligation.
The NZCQA Taskforce urged all growers to support the industry initiative so that consumers may have ultimate confidence in locally produced grain. The new scheme would hopefully have satisfied the needs and concerns of all industry participants. Particularly, grower concerns over registration charges were allayed, by allowing two seasons registration free of charge.
Processors showed support by making registration a contractual obligation for the 2004 harvest. Significantly, the NZ Flour Millers Association resolved that members would only purchase grain from registered growers from the 2006 harvest.
Maize growers were invited to join the scheme because of obvious synergies. This decision was made in consultation with processors and the Maize Growers Subsection of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.
The taskforce developed the scheme rules package in conjunction with Asurequality.