Clarity and purpose

IT'S BEEN a festering sore for some years with levy-funded bodies, that those who pay for them often don't get a say in their progression. They seem to start out with the best intention, but through time evolve into something that they never intended to be.

Voting by levy payers that they no longer wished to support AHDB Potatoes and is sister organisation in the Horticulture sector, was certainly a talismanic result for the industry – it showed that grass roots' levy payers could take on Government quangos and win. That's especially poignant when it's going to be a year when every cost will be scrutinised and given the nod to be kept, or eliminated.

Just now, real decisions are being made about spending, with eye-watering costs in danger of more than nullifying seemingly bullish prices for livestock, grain and oilseeds. That said, while a hare may have been set running through the farm assurance field of vision by last week's meeting in Aberdeenshire (see our front cover story), there is nothing to suggest that a complete abandonment of the tenet of 'farm assurance' is in prospect. It's more the method of delivery that's causing dissent.

There has to be some sympathy, though, for some of those organisations. Because of their finding strategies, they have been forced to chase government £-signs down routes that were outwith their original remit. Therefore, those savvy enough to take on board what is being said now should have no problem refocussing on delivering what the industry needs.

And that will be clarity, purpose and accountability. Simples.

There with Ukraine

The people of Ukraine deserve our support in what is quickly becoming a humanitarian disaster and a refugee crisis in Europe on a scale not seen since the WW2. It has been caused by Vladimir Putin’s barbaric and unjustified assault on Russia’s democratic neighbour and like many, we want to help. Our readers want to help.

Dozens of news titles run by our parent company, Newsquest, across the UK are joining forces to convey a simple message – let’s give what we can and do what we can.

Newsquest will donate proceeds from sales of some of its largest newspapers to the Red Cross DEC Ukraine Humanitarian appeal, which is dedicated to helping and saving those affected by this horrific and bloody war. We’re asking you to join us.

At The SF, our team has been reporting on the heroic efforts of communities to rally around Ukraine’s people to provide aid, supplies and financial support – especially those selflessly putting themselves in the firing line by heading to the warzone with emergency supplies. Many of those we have already reported on are linked to farming.

To accompany our company's pledge to donate to the Red Cross appeal, we’ve launched a JustGiving page for a single appeal across all our newspapers, allowing readers to contribute to this worthy cause if they want to join us in doing what we can to help.

All monies will go immediately to the British Red Cross Society DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Please donate what you can via the link to this page