Onus on Spreadmark companies to ensure vehicle certificates
Onus on Spreadmark companies to ensure vehicle certificates are valid
The Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC) is urging all spreading companies registered with Spreadmark – the industry guarantee programme – to check their vehicle certification status. The call from the Council follows an alert from auditors that companies registered with the Spreadmark scheme may, unknowingly, have trucks or aircraft with expired certificates.
Anders Crofoot, FQC Chairman, says the voluntary nature of the Spreadmark scheme means that companies may not necessarily receive an automatic test reminder and may not discover their vehicle certification is out of date until on or after it expires.
“We’re asking companies to be proactive here to ensure continuous certification. We recommend every company checks when their next Spreadmark audit is due. And if that date is fast approaching we’re advising they contact their Tester directly to arrange a visit,” he says.
Spreadmark registration is valid for two years. However, Spreadmark auditors recommend company audits take place up to three months prior to renewal to ensure certification remains in place while any issues are addressed.
Established in 1994, the Spreadmark scheme provides an industry benchmark for the accurate distribution of fertiliser. Registration ensures that a company has the technology, knowledge and equipment to provide even and ‘on-target’ fertiliser distribution services.
Mr Crofoot adds, “We commissioned a report recently which shows that inaccurate and ‘off-target’ spreading is costing agricultural in New Zealand tens of millions of dollars a year. If the spreading industry strives for universal Spreadmark certification, if fertiliser users use only Fertmarked fertiliser and if farmers and other fertiliser users commit to using products and services bearing the Fertmark tick and the Spreadmark motif, we can halt this terrible waste and achieve better agronomical, as well as environmental, outcomes.”
To join the Spreadmark scheme, spreading companies need first to submit an application form and a fee of $230 (inc GST). Full details are available on the FQC website: http://fertqual.co.nz