The new National Beef Association Board put in place at the end of July held their first Board meeting in London this week and gave a progressive and decisive steer on the future of the association. The Board made key moves to ensure that NBA are focused on targeted actions for the beef industry, prioritised for the immediate term.
These covered re-engagement of existing members and recruitment of new members through the regions, progressing talks for a single Scottish beef organisation, maintaining and strengthening contact with government, stepping-up relationships with Breed Societies, putting new governing rules in place for the association and - importantly – recruiting a new National Director to build on these and other areas.
The search for a new and ambitious Director is expected to be launched this coming week with an appointment made if possible ahead of Christmas. Meanwhile driving the tasks remain with individual Board members, regions and existing staff alongside interim manager Alison McKnight.
This includes continuing discussions in Scotland for a unified voice dedicated to the beef sector. John Hoskin, a new Board appointment said “The Board have asked Ali to undertake further discussions with SBA to make progress and assess the best opportunities and the best business route for members and for the association ahead, including engaging with the Charities regulator.
“Our support for a single body was unanimous and we want to see a speedy solution. We must however listen carefully to our members’ needs and remain firmly allied to the Scottish Association to strengthen our UK approach for a better supported beef industry” stressed John.
Mr Hoskin, a highly respected beef finisher from Dorset who claimed the 2010 Farmer's Weekly 'Farmer of the Year' title, will be supporting Ms McKnight on her negotiations and a concluding report is expected by the end of October.
All Board members showed energy and commitment to working towards the new NBA and Chairman Hamish McBean focused the day on the priorities of policy including CAP and TB, on Scotland and on members.
Hamish commented “I am delighted that we have an organisation that is once again able to focus on what the industry needs. The Board meeting this week demonstrated that there is a lot of work to do but also that we have the impetus and the determination to get on with the job. We look forward to working with Ali on our immediate priorities and with a new Director to drive the NBA in the very near future.”
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