NFU bails out pig association

26 January 2001

NFU bails out pig association

By Alistair Driver

THE National Farmers Union has agreed it will pay between 80,000 and 150,000 to cover a shortfall in budget of the National Pig Association.

The NFU agreed to pay the cash, relating to the NPAs first operational year, at a recent committee meeting. It pledged to do the same next year, if necessary.

But a high-ranking union insider, who asked not to be named, said some NFU members were unhappy at having to “bail out” the NPA.

The union may be unwilling to continue the arrangement after next year, he said, claiming that the situation was constantly under review.

“The NPA has to sort itself out because it cannot be subsidised forever.”

NPA producer group chairman Stewart Houston played down talks of a rift, saying the NFU would continue to ensure that the NPA is successful.

“There is not an ultimatum,” he said, although he acknowledged that the NPA had to sort out its finances to avoid further criticism.

The NPA, formed from a merger between the NFU pigs committee and the British Pig Association in autumn 1999, is based at NFU headquarters.

Because many of the associations members are also NFU members, the union agreed to pay their subscriptions and provide other services.

But NPA finances were stretched by the swine-fever crisis and extensive negotiations with MAFF over the Pig Industry Restructuring Scheme.

The NPAs income, meanwhile, has been hit by a failure to attract new members due to the industry cash crisis.

It has also had problems in collecting subscriptions from non-NFU members, partly due to problems with the producer database.

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