NSA South West Region Annual Members Meeting 2017

Date: 22nd February 2017

Time: 7.30pm

Location: Fingle Glen Golf Hotel, Tedburn, Exeter, Devon, EX6 6AF

There was a great turnout of members at the NSA South West Region Annual Members Meeting on Wednesday 22nd February in Tedburn, Exeter, where the official business was completed quickly before an interesting evening of presentations and discussion. Alan Derryman continues as Regional Chairman but the role of Vice Chairman and one of the three representatives for NSA English Committee remain vacant due to a recent resignation that will be dealt with by the regional committee at its next meeting.

Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, reports on the rest of the evening: “The presentations were kicked off very ably by Olly Matthews, an NSA Next Generation Ambassador who farms with his brother and grandparents at Yatton, North Somerset. I then had the opportunity to talk about the work of NSA and discuss some of the challenges relating to Brexit, before Alistair Mackintosh, newly appointed Red Tractor Assurance Beef and Lamb Board Chairman took the floor. Alistair reminded people that RTA was originally started to protect the integrity of agriculture following the BSE crisis, to make food traceable and to provide reassurance to consumers – and he wrapped up by suggesting strongly (and rightly) that if we didn’t have a farm assurance scheme today, with Brexit facing us, we would be discussing how to create such a scheme.

“Alistair faced some lively questions, as you would expect, but the mood was positive with general agreement that we were in a far better position on this topic than we had been a year ago. One of our big challenges is to be able to explain and justify the difference of sheep production compared to pigs, poultry and dairy, to justify the lower ‘risks’ within our sector and avoid requirements that are less relevant to us. For those familiar with the jargon, this means finding practical ways to recognise the difference in production systems while also trying to harmonise different sector requirements within one scheme.”