Anger and frustration at AgriLive cancellation

The shock cancellation of the 2010 AgriLive Smithfield livestock show has saddened farmers and industry leaders.

Organisers axed the show blaming a lack of support and funds after failing to sign up enough trade stand exhibitors and sponsors.

The event was due to take place at the National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, on 2-3 December.

Livestock producers vented their frustration on the Farmers Weekly Taking Stock blog this week, describing the cancellation as a disgrace.

“Hard working people who have given so much time and effort to try and make the show happen have been badly let down,” said one blogger, named Jock.

Livestock exhibitors who had invested a lot of time effort and money preparing for the show would have to try and change their plans.

Another blogger, named Woody, said: “People will have spent a lot of money at suckled calf sales and lamb sales and feeding them.

“Even up to now that will run to a lot of money – and that’s before flights and hotels are counted.

“I only hope they can enter their stock elsewhere, but I wonder if a lot of the pure bred native steers will find a show for them.”

The AgriLive Smithfield event was launched last year as a technical business event for the red meat supply sector.

It was attended by 110 exhibitors and over 7500 visitors, suggesting widespread support.

After the 2010 cancellation, it remains to be seen whether the event will take place in future years.

But some supporters remain hopeful. One blogger, named Back to Black, said: “What happens next is the important bit now.

“Anyone with an interest in the success of the event needs to get their brains in gear and put forward realistic, workable suggestions for future years.

“Let’s get behind the show and make it work rather than kicking it while it’s down.”

NFU acting director of communications Terry Jones described the cancellation as “unfortunate” at a time when there was no dedicated livestock show.

“If an alternative event cannot be developed then we would hope that the continued success of the relocated Dairy and Livestock Show will lead to an even greater focus by its organisers on the beef and sheep farmer.”