NSA Central Region Annual Members Meeting 2020

Date: 5th February 2020

Time: 7pm

Location: The Agricultural Business Centre, Bakewell Market, Derbyshire, DE45 1AH

A good number of members gathered together at Bakewell Livestock market for the 2020 ARMM. Details from the evening as follows:

Chairman’s Report from David Howlett summarising the year’s events. The agricultural industry and rural life has never been under such attack as to what it is today. The environment lobby and vegans or even sheep worrying don’t seem to be getting any less. David mentioned the adverse weather we’ve had and currently good lamb prices due to concerns of there being a shortage in the spring. The meetings and “Sheep farming -setting the record straight” was also a huge success. David also would like to welcome Jack Charleton as the Central Region Next Generation Ambassador for the coming year. Congratulations Jack! David urges to attend all meetings possible to get the most out of the NSA. The speech was concluded by thanking Anne for all her hard work over the years, Anne’s knowledge of the NSA Central Region and sheep farming in the area is second to none. A huge thank you to Anne.

English Committee Report: Alistair Sneddon

Highlights and topics of the English Committee:

DEFRA ELMS work report and update- was that they are encouraging farmers towards stewardship, they have fours years left and have a lot of work to do in order to be ready in this time. DEFRA was represented by the Stakeholder Engagement Department who were not in touch with farming.

The feeling is that the Agricultural bill is anti-sheep as cattle grazing only mentioned yet no mention of sheep but these are only thoughts at this stage.

Sea Eagles are still around although not all of them have survived.

No carcase splitting information. Red Tractor – technical advice committee meeting coming up in the near future.


Treasurer’s Report: There has been account transition of closing the Natwest Bank Account and moving onto Lloyds for the Central Region Account. This is so that the accounts can be managed by Head Office with them assisting with the running of income and expenditure, and making it easier for the NSA as a whole for all the regions to be on the system. Robert ran through the income, expenditure and balance sheet. It was discussed about how poorly the banks services were and what a nightmare the transition had been of moving banks but hopefully all of this is to a close and everything has been completed.

Election of Office holders:

Chairman – David Howlett                     Proposed by: James Bickerton Seconded by: Charles Sercombe

Vice Chairman – James Bickerton                    Proposed by: Alistair Sneddon Seconded by: Anne Payne

Trustee – Chris Lewis                                          Proposed by: Robert Helliwell Seconded by: Anne Payne

English Committee Rep – David Howlett    Proposed by: Kath Berkinshaw Seconded by: Jack Charlton

Two Other English Committee Rep’s: Alistair Sneddon and Charles Sercombe

Proposed by: Anne Payne  Seconded by: James Bickerton

Treasurer – Robert Helliwell                        Proposed by: David Howlett Seconded by: Kath Berkinshaw

Regional Committee to remain open to all members.

Board of Trustee’s Report: Sent through from Chris Lewis Chris’s report included well discussed topics such as Brexit and it’s uncertainty, the proposal of replacing the current NSA building at the Royal Welsh Show Ground - planning permission has been obtained and a business plan produced. Final decision to be made in 2020. Successful meetings had been had with the Wool Board. Storm of the vegans, membership’s new classification and staffing changes at head office. Bryan Griffiths has been re-elected for a second term of Chairman for the Board. The Sheep 2020 event is being worked on for another outstanding event.

Sub-Committee for 2021 Event:  We have the following names and more welcome to join! David Howlett, Jack Charlton, Ollie Brayne, Beth Waterhouse, Charles Sercombe, James Bickerton, Anne Payne.

Date of Next Meeting – Wednesday 27th May with Moredun, location details to be confirmed.

Any Other Business – None.

Moving on to the three Speakers of the evening starting with Matt Southam from AHDB Head of Retail and Foodservice Engagement.

Matt gave a very insightful talk regarding the facts and figures of the red meat and about the stats of the vegans that are thankfully not making much difference to the food consumption of the UK despite the noise and campaigning they have done.

Subjects covered:

  • Reason’s to eat meat & Veganuary
  • Farmers and the industry as a whole feel under attack
  • 0.6% of households for a year will eat as a vegan and this number hasn’t changed for a few years.
  • 99.2% UK households buy meat
  • 91% UK households buy red meat
  • The plant based trend is not about vegans
  • Consumer research can see what they are buying
  • Health and environment are now the key drivers of meat reduction
  • Despite this the consumer demand for protein remains high
  • 1980 the average meal preparation time was an hour and now it is 28 minutes with huge changes in lifestyles
  • Going forward we need to get red meat easier and quicker to cook
  • Knowledge and education is another key factor
  • AHDB work hard to prove there is no direct link between cancer and red meat – there is no science behind it and a lot of the theories are regarding processed red meat
  • Red meats – nutritious source and good mineral content for health and well
  • Cutting through the confusion – AHDB article
  • Social media influences – what harm the vegans are doing to the environment
  • Horizon Scanning – IARC Review due February 2020 ( the AHDB are preparing for this and to fight the misconceptions)
  • Food Advisory Board Launch – Funded by the levy money but without AHDB name to it
  • Advertising to date with the following magazines and newspapers; The Sun, Telegraph, Men’s Health and Independent. To get positive stories and information across.
  • A note on the environment and reputation of the industry.

It was a very in depth topic and hopefully I’ve caught most of what was said, it was really thought provoking and informative speech.

The second speaker of the evening was Andrew Henderson from LLM Vets Bakewell

Andrew’s subject was on Wormer Resistance

  • The Production cost of anthelmintic resistance in lambs
  • Where the worms come from and that they believe worms live on all farms
  • Flock Health Plans
  • See if the products used on farm are effective and what else they can use as an alternative out there
  • Resistance is the heritable ability of the worm to survive ‘Drug Tolerance’
  • Unfortunately every farm has a potential to have an issue
  • Graphs shown of the history of the modern broad spectrum of wormers
  • There are different types of the resistance evidence of white, yellow and clear drenches
  • It’s likened to the current problem of anti-biotic use

It was another very in depth topic and hopefully I’ve caught the overview of what was said and is somewhat helpful with combating worms on farm.

The third speaker of the evening was Chris Adamson the NSA’s Activities and Campaigns Officer

Chris had a very limited time to talk as the evening had passed very quickly. Chris gave an overview of his farming life and role at the NSA. Chris talked about the huge changes ahead… The Agricultural Bill looking more positive, Sheep and the Environment, Policy Focus, Farm Support, Traceability and the LIP Industry partnerships. Chris’s activities in 2019 of the New Auction Mart Roadshow and Setting the Record Straight meetings. He ran through the different membership categories and what they entail – Group membership, Joint membership and the upgrade to over pay subscription.

Finishing his updates with the upcoming events:

  • Eastern Region Winter Fair – 28th of February
  • Breed Society Forum – 7th of May
  • Scot Sheep – 3rd of June