Growers and distributors of plant protection products (PPPs) should be on their guard against organised rural crime after a well-organised break-in at a secure distributor store saw a large quantity of herbicides stolen.
The warning for farmers to be vigilant for product for sale from unknown or suspicious sources comes from the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) following a raid on a major distributor’s store in Norfolk in the early morning of Monday, 6 February.
The UK’s leading agri-supply trade association said that crop protection and agronomy companies and farming businesses should be alert to the risk of further thefts in the area and nationally as the spring season of use approaches. Businesses may wish to review their security arrangements.
Products stolen from the store included a large quantity of herbicides for spring use in a range of crops including cereals, potatoes, and sugar beet. The names of specific products taken are Grazon, Basagran, Artist, Broadway Star, Maister, Signum, and Pacifica Plus.
Hazel Doonan, AIC’s Head of Crop Protection and Agronomy, said: “Any business or individual selling or supplying professional PPPs must hold the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection.
“Growers should be wary of inadvertently handling stolen goods and the potential damage to their business reputation, including the risk of breaching some farm assurance standards around traceability of inputs.
“Therefore, growers should be extremely cautious if they are offered product that appears to be exceptionally cheap or does not come from a known and reputable distribution company.
“We strongly urge anyone who is approached to buy PPPs from an unknown or suspicious seller to report the details to the police by calling 101, or to make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers UK by calling 0800 555 111.”