Strategic beef research policy launch

A UK-wide, strategic research policy for the beef sector will be launched at the Beef Expo in Malvern, Worcestershire next month, the National Beef Association (NBA) has announced. The new policy document will then be circulated to government policy officials across both the UK and EU in a co-ordinated effort to re-invigorate disappointingly thin funding streams for much-needed development work, the NBA said.

The announcement follows a meeting of the NBA’s technical committee in Edinburgh last week, which was attended by government officials, levy board representatives, researchers and beef farming representatives from all across the UK.

NBA director Kim Haywood said: “During this gathering, which reflected the NBA’s unique UK-wide position on industry issues, those present discussed, and then identified, strategic research priorities to improve production from the beef sector.

“The launch will be an attempt, which all present hope will be successful, to reverse the alarming downward trend in basic farmyard research that developed after the progressive slashing of government budgets at the turn of the century and then the diversion, by government advisors, of a large proportion of the remaining funds into new priority areas, such as environmental protection.”

Haywood added that the NBA is alarmed at the decline in government funding, which has not been balanced, she said, by the appearance of alternative industry funding for foundation or strategic research projects targeted precisely at the beef sector.

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