'We will back levy funding if...'

The National Beef Association says it will support the continuation of levy funding for projects that help beef farmers adapt to decoupling.

But in its response to the consultation paper on the Radcliffe Review, the NBA made it clear that farmers' levy should no longer be used to fund generic beef promotion - which pulls in more imports to satisfy increased consumer demand but does nothing to raise the ex-farm price of home produced cattle.

"Farmers' money must either be used to raise farm income or help their businesses become more profitable now that direct subsidy has vanished," said Association chairman, Duff Burrell.

"The vast sums spent on promoting beef have not made it easier for anyone to balance their books and so the targets for levy spending must be changed," he said.

"The NBA has no problem with a levy system used to accumulate useful funds that would otherwise be impossible to pool and we would like all beef levy money to support the concepts or programmes helping our farmers because they would, at last, give value for money to levy payers themselves."

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