17 November 1995

Store sheep slip levy

STORE sheep are to be made exempt from the 30p a head promotional levy from the beginning of next year.

The concession follows the recommendation of a special study group, set up by the Meat and Livestock Commission following a court case it brought against sheep exporters who had been refusing to pay the levy.

Even though it won that case, the MLC convened the group to work out a way of avoiding similar problems in future. As part of the deal, store buyers will continue to pay the 30p general levy. The MLC is also reserving the right to reintroduce the promotional charge if normal marketing patterns are distorted.

No figures are yet available as to what effect this will have on the £4.9m sheep promotional budget. But the sums are not thought to be great and the NFU, which sat on the panel, says it is a reasonable outcome, given the time and money being wasted in chasing relatively small funding.