Business name change sees MAFFwithdraw sheep quota
By Catherine Hughes
NORTHANTS farmer Roland Woods decision to change his farms trading name to include his wife has resulted in MAFF withdrawing a third of the couples sheep quota.
Mr Wood made the changes last Oct, adding his wifes name to the partnership which he previously held with his mother.
"I assumed there was no problem with my claim (for sheep annual premium), having completed the application last year," he said. But, last week he received notification from MAFF that the payment would only be made for his mother and himself, and only for a third each, or 120 in total, of the 180 ewes originally claimed for.
He was told by MAFF that if the couple wanted to claim in future for the 180 sheep then they would have to buy another 60 units of quota.
"I cant believe that I have to buy back whats already mine," said Mr Wood, Crows Nest Farm, near Kettering. "It obviously doesnt pay to be honest by informing them.
"I have to say I lost my temper with them and have asked for a breakdown of the application."
To add insult to injury, because the letter from MAFF arrived just last week, the closing date for applying for more quota had already passed.
Mr Wood, who has had no problems with his IACS or beef special premium payments, is currently trying to negotiate with MAFF in the hope that the 180-head claim can be reinstated next year without him having to buy more quota.
The NFU said that Mr Woods case was typical of a growing problem and urged farmers to seek professional advice before making any changes to a business name. MAFF should also be told.