Let us put your views on levies

Farmers have just three weeks to express their views on proposals that could radically change how agricultural levies are calculated and spent.

The government is consulting on the recommendations of the levy board review, which was published by economist Rosemary Radcliffe in November 2005.

The review concluded that statutory levies should remain, for the next two years at least, but the bodies’ structure should be reformed.

The aim, it said, was to make them more effective, cost-efficient and more accountable to levy payers.

Farmers Weekly knows that the future direction of the levy bodies is an issue that producers across the UK have strong views on.

For example, a poll carried out by FWi last year found that 76% of producers would stop paying levies if contributions were voluntary.

But FW also knows that most farmers won’t have the time to respond to the consultation in full.

It has therefore produced a five-minute survey, which can be found on www.fwi.co.uk, to allow farmers to contribute.

All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to give farmers a chance of winning 100.

All the questions can be answered without seeing the full text of Mrs Radcliffe’s report.

But the document can be found on DEFRA’s website along with full details of the consultation, which closes on 3 February.

Information supplied will be used only in aggregate form so all views expressed will be confidential.