TRAMLINE scheme will promote independent agronomy

A national scheme to promote the merits of independent agronomy and encourage new talent into the sector has been launched by AtlasFram Group, the UK’s leading farmers’ co-operative, in conjunction with the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC), the largest such group in Europe.

The TRAMLINE Scheme ( www.agronomytramline.co.uk ), a joint initiative between two independent organisations which are both highly regarded in the agricultural industry, is designed to create accessible pathways into this vital sector by providing individuals with the professional support and advice they need.

Aimed at those who would have to meet the requirements for AICC membership, farm managers looking to change career, newly-qualified agronomists who want to start their own business and existing agronomists wishing to transfer to the independent sector, it will help to secure a sustainable future for independent agronomy.

The TRAMLINE scheme will offer discounted AICC Membership, access to independent regional trials data, contact with a network of mentors, together with opportunities to work with established agronomy providers. It will also encompass a package of business support provided by the AtlasFram Group, including an overview of the sector, together with advice on a range of issues, from business registration, telecommunications, email, websites and HR issues to guidance on tax and legal issues provided by external stakeholders.

Richard Anscombe, Chief Executive of the AtlasFram Group, states: “We believe that it is vital for farmers to have access to a healthy, commercially-independent agronomy sector to ensure that they receive a ‘fair deal’ when purchasing crop inputs. That depends on being able to separate agronomic advice from product purchases, which is why the role of the independent agronomist is so important. The problem currently facing the agricultural industry is that the average age of independent agronomists is similar to that of farmers, namely in the mid- to late-50s. It is therefore important that AtlasFram helps to promote independent agronomy and attract new talent into the profession to ensure that the sector continues to flourish.”

Mike Warner, Chairman of the AICC, adds: “We are delighted to be working alongside the AtlasFram Group to promote this new initiative because as manufacturers and distributors become larger and increasingly global in their outlook so the influence and purchasing power of individual farmers is diluted. It is vital that they have access to agronomic advice which is completely independent of any commercial bias to enable them to purchase the products that are best suited to their individual requirements, at the best possible prices through organisations such as AtlasFram.”

Further details of the TRAMLINE scheme are available from:

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Further press information is available from: Julian Cooksley, Kendalls Communications          

T: 01394 610022 E: julian.cooksley@kendallscom.co.uk                         

Digital images are available from: Kerry-Anne Rookyard, Kendalls Communications

T: 01394 610022 E: kerry-anne.rookyard@kendallscom.co.uk   

NOTES FOR EDITORS

AtlasFram Group is a highly-successful farmer-owned cooperative with an annual turnover of £168 million. Based in Suffolk, it purchases all types of farm inputs and markets combinable crops on behalf of 1250 Members who collectively farm more than 300,000 hectares throughout the UK. The Group attracts professional arable and livestock farmers who recognise the value of belonging to a large, expertly-managed input purchasing and crop marketing business operated entirely on their behalf. Further details at www.atlasfram.co.uk

AICC is the largest group of independent crop consultants in Europe with 244 independent agronomist members advising on over three million acres of arable land in the UK. Founded in 1981 to provide a professional organisation for the truly independent crop consultant, AICC sets a minimum standard of technical expertise for all its members, including the monitoring of the Continuous Professional Development programmes required to practise as advisors, in both crop protection and fertiliser sections. All Full members are members of the BASIS Professional Register and are bound by a strictly enforced code of conduct. Further details at www.aicc.org.uk

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