NFU Scotland has given a broad welcome to the announcement today on the
future of the UK’s agricultural and horticultural levy boards.
NFUS believes its key issues have been largely addressed.
- Ensuring accountability to levy payers is the top priority
sector specific bodies for red meat, milk, potato, cereals and horticulture,
funded by a statutory levy
- Retaining a Scottish red meat
NFUS Chief Executive Andy Roberston has been appointed to the Defra steering
group which will set the strategic framework for the new bodies. Reacting
to today’s announcement, he said:
“There were some very strong and clear messages that emerged from
the consultation we had with our own members. They support the continuation
of specific bodies for their own sectors and value the work they undertake.
“But, as well as ensuring sector-specific work can continue, these
bodies have to remain accountable to levy payers themselves, a point made
strongly in the Radcliffe report. Under the new arrangements, the ability
of levy payers to trigger votes on the future of levy boards provides the
ultimate sanction, however it is more important that the day to day activities
take account of producers’ views.
“I am still unclear how the new over-arching body, Levy Board UK,
will add significantly to levy-payer accountability and we will be discussing
that with Defra.
“The recognition of the need for a continued Scottish red meat promotion
body is extremely important. The decision to create Quality Meat Scotland
was only taken a few years ago in recognition of the distinct profile of
the industry in Scotland. The activity over the last few weeks as Scotch
beef has returned to European dinner tables has emphasised its important
role. We will obviously be involved in the further consultation on its structure,
to ensure accountability to levy payers.”
Board Review - Think Again! - TFA
must be retained - RABDF levy board response
Responds to Agricultural Levy Board Review