You pay, you say

The NFU is urging farmers and growers not to miss the chance to have their say on how their levy money is spent.

NFU president Peter Kendall has called on all farmers and growers in the livestock, pigs, cereals and oilseed, horticulture and potato sectors to take part in either telephone or online questionnaires, which have been commissioned by Accenture following Rosemary Radcliffe's recommendations for a "Fresh Start" for levy boards.

Accenture says this preparatory work will help inform key decisions concerning the restructuring of the levy boards in 2007/2008.

"This is a real opportunity for farmers and growers to have a say and influence the process of levy body reform," says Kendall. "The statutory levy bodies are a vital tool to the industry, and with a current spend in the region of £60 million, it's vital that levies are invested smartly.

"I would encourage those involved at all stages of the farm chain who have an interest in levy activity to contribute to this exercise".

The NFU says while 400 telephone questionnaires will randomly target farmers and growers, all producers with an interest in levy body activity can take part in the online surveys.

Kendall adds: "This is an important piece of work and the more feedback received, the more likely it is that these new levy bodies will be truly fit for task.

"You should ask yourself questions like: what are the challenges facing my business? What do the current levy bodies do well? And what are other bodies doing well to address industry challenges?"

The online surveys can be found at www.kadquest.com/accenture/levyboards/farmers for producers and www.kadquest.com/accenture/levyboards/processors for processors.

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