ADBA launches pioneering AD Certification Scheme at annual conference

UK trade body ADBA will today launch its pioneering AD Certification Scheme at the ADBA National Conference 2017 in London.

The voluntary, industry-led scheme is designed to support operators of AD plants, including those based on farms, to improve their operational, environmental, and health and safety performance, in particular in terms of energy generation and digestate quality.

ADBA has developed the scheme, working closely with industry stakeholders including operators, developers, consultants, suppliers, insurers, regulators and other trade bodies related to the sector, who have all voiced their support for such a certification process. The NFU and CLA have contributed to ensuring the scheme is suitable for farmers who operate AD plants.

ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said: “Investing in an AD plant is a great way for farmers to diversify their income in the context of uncertainty over future support from government post Brexit. AD offers a treatment option for organic wastes such as manures, slurries, and vegetable off-cuts, producing on-site renewable heat and power, transport fuel for farm vehicles, and nutrient-rich biofertiliser. AD crops also give farmers a great option for crop rotation, helping to keep soils healthy and avoid the spread of blackgrass and nematodes.

“ADBA’s new AD Certification Scheme defines good practice and enables on-farm AD plants to be recognised as meeting it. A certification process is essential to ensuring that regulators, insurers and investors have confidence in the scheme, which offers AD operators a range of financial and regulatory benefits.

“We look forward to working with farmers on our AD Certification Scheme to support them in building and running their AD plants to high standards.”

The scheme includes detailed assessment criteria that will allow third-party certification bodies to verify the achievement of good practice at AD plants, and is the most comprehensive of its type.

The scheme pilot was completed in September this year, with one on-farm plant, one food waste plant, and one on-site plant for a food manufacturer taking part.

Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Adviser on Renewable Energy and Climate Change at the NFU, said: “The NFU recognises the unique role that AD can play in generating on-farm energy while helping to improve nutrient and soil management. The ADBA AD Certification Scheme is an important tool in helping operators of on-farm AD plants meet high environmental, health and safety, and operational standards.  It has been great to see a wide variety of stakeholders coming together to develop voluntary accreditation of good practice, helping to raise confidence and drive better performance in what is an important industry for British farmers.”

Stefan Jimenez Wisler, Land Use Policy Adviser at the CLA, said: “The CLA is pleased to see the launch of ADBA’s AD Certification Scheme. AD is an important tool for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, driving more efficient resource use and enabling a range of other on-farm environmental benefits.

“This new certification scheme sets out good practice and allows on-farm AD plants to be recognised for meeting it. This will crucially provide operators, regulators and the public with the confidence to support AD for the financial and environmental benefits it can provide.”

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