The BQM. What’s it All About? An Interview With Dr. Simon Shackley.

I managed to get some of Dr, Simon Shackley’s time the other day and was able to ask a few brief questions about the BQM and what it means for the emerging biochar arena. Here are the responses;

  1. What does BQM stand for?
    “Biochar Quality Mandate”
  2. What is the BQM?
    “The BQM is a non-legally binding guidance document to help producers and developers of biochar in the UK develop biochar products which will meet the expectations of the marketplace for clean and useful products while also meeting the demands of government  agencies and regulators.”
  3. Who are the steering group for the BQM?
    The SG is made up of representatives of: University of Edinburgh, University of Newcastle, James Hutton Institute, Rothamsted Research, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), Environment Agency(EA), Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
  4. Why is the BQM needed?
    “The BQM is needed because product quality and standards for biochar are complex and uncertain and regulation difficult and sometimes confusing. The BQM aims to provide developers and producers with a clearer route to market and legislators with data to protect our environment.”
  5. How will the BQM be implemented?
    “We anticipate that organisations that are already accredited to evaluate products and processes against existing standards and guidelines such as PAS100, PAS110 and other Quality Protocols, would be in a good position to accredit the appropriate application of the BQM to a particular product.”
  6. Where will be covered by by the BQM?
    “We anticipate that the BQM will be applicable across the UK”
I thanked Dr. Shackley and let him go on his way.
I got the distinct impression that the BQM was a guidance paper showing a pathway, not only for producers to create a clean and useful product but also for legislators to allow the rolling out of this emerging arena whilst protecting our environment at the same time.
Only time will tell.
Amature Hack
Darren Hopkins