The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has warned growers and distributors of plant protection products (PPPs) to be on their guard against organised rural crime after a well-organised break-in at a secure distributor store in Norfolk.
The raid in the early morning of 6 February saw a large quantity of herbicides stolen. 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.
The AIC 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.
Hazel Doonan, AIC’s Head of Crop Protection and Agronomy, commented, “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.”