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Stackyard News Jun 06

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    NFUS Broad Welcome For Levy Body Review

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.

They are:

  • Ensuring accountability to levy payers is the top priority
  • Maintaining sector specific bodies for red meat, milk, potato, cereals and horticulture, funded by a statutory levy
  • Retaining a Scottish red meat promotion body

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.”

link Levy Board Review - Think Again! - TFA
link MDC must be retained - RABDF levy board response
link NFUS Responds to Agricultural Levy Board Review

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National Farmers' Union
NFU Scotland