Updating UK management guidelines for the ergot pathogen, Claviceps purpurea

AHDB Request for Quotes (RFQ):

Updating UK management guidelines for the ergot pathogen, Claviceps purpurea

Contract title

Updating UK management guidelines for the ergot pathogen, Claviceps purpurea

Contract reference

 

Contract period

01/11/2024 – 31/03/2025

Date

10/06/2024

Background:

The ergot fungus, Claviceps purpurea, infects grasses and cereals.  It produces alkaloids that are highly toxic to humans and animals.  In 2023, the Ergot Working Group, comprising key UK industry players, including farmer representatives and research stakeholders, identified a need to review existing AHDB ergot management guidance published in 2013 that is being shared with levy payers in the UK as it is lacking compared with the guidance offered to farmers in Europe.  This will enable farmers to better manage ergot in-field and maintain the value of the crop.

This project is needed as incidences of ergot have been on the rise in the UK in the last three years, with 2021 and 2022 being exceptionally severe years where ergot sclerotia were found in 5-21% of grain samples (according to UKFM).  The Ergot Working Group found that very few processors are willing to accept contaminated grain.  Furthermore, although grain cleaning is an option to remove sclerotia from grain after harvest, it is costly and only partly effective in removing ergot alkaloids.

Updated ergot guidelines to manage ergot in field would be essential to minimise the health risk posed to consumers and animals, reduce costs of cleaning contaminated samples for levy payers, and reduce grain rejections at intake.  AHDB is seeking to commission a high-level review to assess the current AHDB ergot management guidelines and use the review findings to update guidance where appropriate.

Existing AHDB ergot management guidance can be found here:

An introduction to ergot and its management in cereals | AHDB

Management of ergot in cereal crops | AHDB

 

Service requirement:

1) Review existing ergot management guidance and research and summarise findings in a report. Effort should be made to relate the applicability of findings to UK arable farms.

2) Use review findings to update AHDB ergot management guidance and produce an ergot identification chart.

3) Use review findings to identify UK knowledge gaps and where ergot research is needed to support UK farmers. It is recommended that this is done in conjunction with the Ergot Working Group.

Outputs and knowledge exchange

  1. Final report submitted within four months of the start date, providing an up-to-date review on ergot research and management guidance, as well as identify gaps in the research.
  2. Updated guidelines on ergot management for levy payers providing clear, practical advice on best practice to reduce ergot contamination.
  3. An ergot identification chart for farmers and processors, demonstrating a range of ergot sclerotia in a variety of settings, such as sclerotia on different host weed plants.

Budget, duration, and collaboration:

The maximum budget available for this work is £30,000 (inclusive of VAT).  The project is for a duration of four months.

Joint applications from two or more organisations are acceptable and encouraged where there is added value. AHDB reserves the right to not proceed with any application or, if appropriate, to request applicants to form a consortium to work together to deliver a programme of activities. Applications involving in-kind and/or cash funding from industry are particularly encouraged.

Completion and submission of the application form

Please refer to the guidance notes for completion of application forms. Applicants should complete the  AHDB Research and KE Application Form – Full Proposal Small. Completed forms must be emailed to research@ahdb.org.uk no later than 12:00 noon on 23rd August 2024.

You should include:

  • How you intend to address the project objectives and deliverables.
  • Timelines and milestones.
  • Details and the capabilities of the team that will complete the work.
  • Details of any subcontractors/other organisations you will work with to achieve deliverables.
  • Evidence you or your team have completed similar or related work.
  • Proposed budget.
  • Your contact details.

Assessment of proposals

All bids will be scored against the criteria shown in the table below.  The selection will be an open and fair competition according to AHDB’s procurement policy, which complies with EU state aid rules.

Quality and relevance of proposal

Scope of the work and value for money

Experience and expertise of bidder

0

No response is provided or the response fails to answer the RFQ

0

No response or price not clearly linked to milestones, activity, or resource

0

No relevant experience for this tender, or no evidence provided

2

The response significantly fails to meet the standards required, it contains significant shortcomings and/or is inconsistent with other bids

2

The response contains significant shortcomings, and it is very inconsistent with the other bids

2

The response contains significant shortcomings relative to other bids, and CVs lack evidence of sufficient expertise or experience by bidding team

4

The response falls short of achieving the expected standard in a number of identifiable respects

4

The bid falls short and it is not clear how the costs and resources available will deliver the project

4

The bid falls short, with poor fit for the elements of the team that will deliver this work. Over-reliance on one or two key people to providing oversight and ensuring the contracted outcomes are met

6

The response partially meets the requirement and provides certain relevant information, but is lacking or inconsistent in material respects

6

The response meets some of the bid requirements, but there are risks, or additional costs that may materially risk the project being delivered as planned

6

Some experience of delivering this type of work. However, the team lacks sufficient support/experience at all levels. Over-reliance on early career expertise to deliver the project, with insufficient oversight, or time dedicated by more experience team members.

8

The response meets the requirement in most respects, but is lacking or inconsistent in some minor respects

8

The response meets the majority of the requirements, but there are some minor delivery risks or inconsistencies linked to the project, that may not materially impact planned delivery

8

A strong mix of support with relevant experience, a good track record of peer reviewed work, but weak evidence that this work has been converted from research to commercial reality. May have some IP/Products/Services that could be relevant to the project

10

The response meets the requirement in all material respects and is extremely likely to deliver the required output/outcome. Plus it contains a number of innovative solutions/outcomes

10

The response meets all the requirements, has a clear and transparent costs, which are reasonable and necessary

10

A strong mix of support with relevant experience, a good track record of peer reviewed work, and work that has been converted from research to commercial reality. In addition, the organisation brings with it additional IP/Products/Services that will enhance this project

 


 

Tender submissions

Quotes must be received no later than 12:00 noon on 23rd August 2024.

 

Submission instructions:

Electronically:

Email address:

research@ahdb.org.uk

Reference (entered as the subject):

Updating UK management guidelines for the ergot pathogen, Claviceps purpurea

Submissions will remain unopened until after the closing date and time has passed.

Timetable

Action

Deadline

RFQ circulated

10/06/2024

Last date for suppliers to ask clarification questions

26/07/2024

Deadline for receipt of submission/quotes

23/08/2024

Notification of intended award of contract

23/09/2024

Contract commencement

01/11/2024

 


 

Terms / Conditions of Participation

 If you have any questions relating to this tender, please contact:

Email address:

research@ahdb.org.uk

Reference (entered as the subject):

Updating UK management guidelines for the ergot pathogen, Claviceps purpurea

 

Questions

If you have a specific question related to this call please email research@ahdb.org.uk.  As part of the open tender process AHDB cannot discuss specific project details prior to submission of a proposal. All responses to questions will be anonymised and published.

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