Newly re-elected Chairman William Martin shares his notes from the March board meeting. The board meets at least 6 times a year to discuss the issues affecting sugar growers.
The first Board meeting of the new NFU year was held on the 1st March. It is traditional that at this meeting that the newly elected members join the board for the first time. The first item of business was to welcome Tim Beaver who is the newest board member. He farms at Duddington close to Stamford. We also noted the excellent work done by Mark Fletcher over the his time on the board particularly with the BBRO and the Seed Working Group.
Officeholders are re-elected every March for a one year term. The officeholder team for this year is completed with Michael Sly as Vice Chairman and David Papworth as Chairman of Beet Reception. The positions of other Board members representing growers on BBRO, seed supply, farm assurance etc were confirmed.
The Board was joined for a discussion by Patrick Chatenay, of Prosunergy, to explore some of the possible consequences of the ending of quotas in 2017. This is one of a continuing series of these discussions with invited experts. Topics covered included UK and EU competitiveness, and future trade flows. Current circumstances in the Brazilian industry were also explained.
A review of the past campaign included the operation of the sampling system and associated complaints, as well as arrangements for beet haulage from farms.
The Board discussed the round of meetings held with growers over the past months. Various options for future beet contracting arrangements remain under consideration. The Board discussed the merits of different possibilities. Discussions with British Sugar and with growers continue.