Committing farmer members of the Irish Grain Assurance Scheme (IGAS) to a trailer numbering system will improve traceability within the cereals sector.

This is the strongly held view of IGAS scheme manager, Tom Kelly.

He told Agriland: “The many customers of Irish grain, including the likes of Guinness, wanted the trailer numbering measures introduced. And, it’s an approach that makes absolute sense.”    

The new measures will become a requirement by the start of the 2026 harvest. The trailer identifications will match-up with each grower’s specific IGAS membership number.

“The numbers are to feature prominently on both sides of a trailer; they must be visible from a weigh bridge,” Kelly added.

“Each number should be the size of a standard number plate. They can be permanently attached to trailers or attached only at those times when grain is delivered to a merchant or other facility.

“Growers can opt to paint the numbers to their trailers, if they wish. The fundamental requirement is that of having the numbers fully visible from a weighbridge.”

IGAS

This announcement from IGAS follows on from the organisation recently securing ‘gold standard’ Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) accreditation.

“The SAI global gold standard verifies that Irish grain meets the highest international standards of sustainability. IGAS is the first grain specific scheme in the world to achieve this award,” Kelly continued.

“The new SAI authorisation measures require all tractor/trailer combinations delivering grain to merchants to be individually identified with a unique number on both sides of the trailer. This number will then be recorded on the weighbridge in merchants’ premises.”

Securing the new authorisation standard has entailed a significant investment on the part of IGAS, both in terms of the finances involved and the time input required.

“However, these costs will not be reflected back to members,” the IGAS representative confirmed.

IGAS has 4,138 grower members. There is a separate cohort of around 50 members, representing feed compounders and grain merchants.

IGAS carries out around 1,000 farm inspections on an annual basis.

“The purpose of the new trailer numbering system is to complete the loop of traceability from field to store,” Kelly explained.

“This is crucially important in the SAI global standard and is absolutely required by all end users of the grain.

“This has been standard practice for all articulated trailers hauling grain for a number of years now and is working very smoothly as part of the traceability chain. It has also been in place in a number of countries for some time now.”

The new trailer markings must include the IGAS number of the grower (or contractor) plus the additional number allocated by the owner of that trailer e.g., 1234-1, 1234-2, 1234-3 etc.

“Traceability is an absolute requirement in all food production these days. The new measure has been introduced this year with the intention to have all trailers identified by the harvest of 2026,” Kelly concluded.