Archive Article: 1997/01/31

31 January 1997

Your chance to vote on MLC levies…

Two leading farmer groups differ in their interpretation of beef producers willingness to pay higher Meat and Livestock Commission levies to secure the future of beef advertising and promotion.

But MLC chairman Don Curry says he needs an extra £15m over the next two years to mount a high profile campaign to recover the 20% fall in domestic beef consumption caused by the BSE crisis.

While the NFU supports that aim, deputy president Ben Gill insists that the money must come from internal savings within MLC and not from increased levies. And he claims many farmers are questioning why they should continue to pay levies at all because they do not believe they are getting value for money from MLC.

In the other camp, the National Cattle Association insists beef farmers are prepared to sanction a rise of up to 30% in the levy rate. Rowland Kershaw-Dalby, NCA secretary, dismisses the NFUs intransigent opposition to levy rises as shortsighted. He says producers recognise the success of the MLCs quality mince campaign and will pay higher levies to ensure work like that can continue.

What do you think? You can register your view in FWs telephone poll. To say YES, you would be prepared to pay higher levies to fund beef promotion, simply ring (0181-6524056). To say NO to any increase in producer levies ring (0181-6524057). Calls will be charged at the standard rate.

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