16 October 1998

NFU sanctions overhaul move

NFU council has sanctioned proposals for an overhaul of the union.

As revealed in farmers weekly last week (Oct 9), the NFU membership group proposed a move to one-member, one-vote to elect council representatives.

Also proposed was a meeting system with a minimum of formality, and the introduction of flexible, issue-led meetings for consultation and information purposes.

Council will remain the governing body of the NFU. The plans also involve re-naming general purposes committee.

It will be known as the policy committee, but will still comprise all the commodity committee chairmen.

A number of changes to existing headquarters committees has also been proposed, including axing the livestock committee and replacing it with separate committees for sheep and beef.

A specially convened council meeting has been scheduled for Dec 9, by which time council delegates should have consulted members on the plans.

A complementary proposal, to establish a subsidiary service company, was also endorsed by council. The plan, said NFU director general Richard Macdonald, would be to improve the quality of service provided to members. The new company could also increase union revenue by selling services to outside organisations.