Scots to decide on break from NBA

DECISIONS ARE expected Friday, July 8 on whether Scotland’s beef farmers will break away from the National Beef Association to form their own devolved organisation.

After weeks of speculation over the NBA’s future, a crunch meeting of the NBA’s Scottish Council in Perth today (July 8), is likely to thrash out the arguments for and against remaining part of a national body.

Keith Redpath, Scotland’s delegate on the NBA main board said members north of the border, had close links with the Scottish Executive and the other main farming and meat industry bodies.

There was no reason why those links would be eroded if Scotland’s beef farmers left the NBA, he said.

But he told FARMERS WEEKLY that he supported the idea of a national organisation. “Breaking away from the NBA is not the first option likely to be on the table at our meeting. We in Scotland are not trying to be obstructive,” Mr Redpath said.

But he alleged there were problems at a national level in the organisation that had not been addressed.

Mr Redpath’s main bone of contention has been the NBA’s finances.

NBA chief executive Robert Forster admitted to FW that he was aware of criticisms and that “the organisation’s finances are thin”.

“We need to boost incomes to avoid eating into our reserves. Ideally, we need to increase our membership numbers from the 3000 we have at the moment.

I think we could do that better as a national body. I’m convinced we are better off staying as a united body,” he said.

l Northumbrian farmer Duff Burrell has been elected as the NBA’s new chairman.

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