Wednesday, 22nd November 2017
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AGRICULTURAL INSPECTOR

In all areas of agriculture there are strict regulations that ensure the quality of produce and the health and safety of staff and animals on farms. Agricultural inspectors are responsible for maintaining certain standards in farming, whether focussing on crops, livestock, aquaculture or game.

Agricultural inspectors will visit different workplaces - farms, hatcheries or estates, to observe the practices, equipment and general environment of the business.

They work on behalf of different types of institution:

  • Occupational Health and Safety departments
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Farm-animal welfare organisations
  • Assured Food Standard schemes or the Food Standards Agency (FSA)

Regardless of the type of employer, agricultural inspectors must make sure that companies and farms follow the legislations of the UK or the EU.

When visiting workplaces, inspectors will usually do the following:

  • Check machinery and equipment, ensuring that all is in working order
  • Inspect the entire working environment, including all buildings
  • Check the cleanliness of the workplace and for any health and safety hazards
  • Investigate any animal welfare concerns, including cleanliness, illness, feed and treatment
  • Check numbers of livestock and view the records and documentation of stock
  • Monitor the methods of production of crops, livestock or fish
  • Collect and analyse data
  • Write up final reports and issue certificates

It is important that farms and agricultural businesses meet specific legislations and requirements, as it can affect their marketability. More and more, people are becoming interested in where their food comes from and how it is produced, so farms and businesses must keep up with this demand and gain certification from relevant bodies.

Inspectors have a varied working week, often visiting many different sites. The role requires great attention to detail and a general interest in farming and agriculture.