Combined Industry Theft Solutions
« Back to Main News
21st Januray 2011
The Co-operative farms around 50,000 acres of land in England and Scotland and has over 100 years of farming expertise, having been farming since 1896 when it bought its first farm to grow potatoes for its shops.

Co-operative Farms operate a fleet of some of the most advanced machinery available and it was an early adopter of ‘minimal cultivation' practices, and wide tramline width self-propelled sprayers. The Co-operative has also harnessed technology to care for the environment. As environmental concerns heighten it was the first farming business to take positive steps to address this and train other farmers.

And now the Co-operative has announced another positive step, this time to safeguard its extensive fleet of equipment from the threat of theft. Christine Tacon, Managing Director of Co-operative Farms, has placed an order with Datatag ID Limited, the supplier of the advanced security system used in CESAR, to safeguard over 150 pieces of agricultural machinery with CESAR security and registration. Equipment theft, particularly from the rural community, is on the increase. Police figures show that in the last 2 years 11,174 construction and agricultural machines were stolen in the UK, over 107 machines per week! Insurance industry sources value the total cost of equipment theft at up to £1billion p.a.

Kevin Howells, Managing Director of Datatag ID Limited and an expert on equipment security and registration commented on the announcement: 'We're delighted that the Co-operative has taken the positive step of using the official CESAR scheme and Datatag technology to protect all of their equipment across the United Kingdom especially at a time when equipment theft, particularly from farms, is on the increase. The Co-operative has a reputation, in agriculture, for being leaders, innovative, and caring and with this move they are setting another example of ‘best practice' within the agricultural industry as well as warning criminals and their networks not to risk stealing any of the Co-operative machinery.'

CESAR is promoted by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) and many of their members, including JCB, John Deere, Landini, McCormick, Manitou, and Merlo, fit CESAR as standard on new equipment supplied in the UK. Chris Evans, the AEA's Chief Economist, had this to say: 'The news that the Co-operative has adopted CESAR is very welcome. The agricultural industry and community has to work together to tackle organised crime and the threat of equipment theft. Our message to those dragging their feet over this issue is ‘wake-up' and act in the interests of your customers and the wider community.'

CESAR is the most successful machinery security and registration scheme in the world, with over 40,000 registrations. CESAR has wide support in the agricultural market from the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA), the Home Office, ACPO, and major insurers including NFU Mutual, Aviva, Zurich, Allianz, and RSA. In the 2 years October 2008-October 2010 only 264 CESAR registered machines were stolen out of 11,200 reported thefts. And of these 80 were recovered giving a recovery rate of 30.3% compared to just 7.4% for non-registered machine, an advantage to CESAR of 4:1.

CESAR is made up of 4 elements that incorporate 3 different Datatag security technologies, giving each machine a unique ‘fingerprint'. Firstly, the machine is fitted with 4 tamper evident triangular registration plates, which are securely fitted to the chassis and body; with the machines own unique identification number. Secondly, a number of RFID transponders, each the size of a grain of rice, are hidden in the machinery each with its own unique programmed code. Thirdly, the machine has patches of unique Datatag forensic liquid DNA painted on to it in a number of locations. The liquid DNA has microscopic Datatdots® suspended in it which are invisible to the eye. It's literally impossible for thieves to remove all the tell-tale identification traces from a CESAR registered machine. Fourthly, the machine is registered on a Datatag's secure database giving the police and other official agencies access to the registration information, an important aid in identification and recovery.

Support for CESAR is widespread and includes the insurance industry, the Home Office and ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers. Richard Crompton, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Constabulary and the ACPO spokesman on rural affairs, comments: 'I applaud Co-operative Farms for protecting their equipment fleet with CESAR. The rural community needs to be aware of, and respond to, the very real threat posed by organised criminals who target agricultural equipment. CESAR is a proven deterrent against theft and a common sense solution to the problem.'