Snow pushes Eblex to extend levy consultation

Eblex has extended the deadline of a consultation into its proposed 18% levy increase after the industry was hit by poor weather over the Christmas period.

The industry body said that the consultation now closes at 5pm on 12 January 2011 and that the six-day extension would give more people the opportunity to respond to its first planned price hike since 2001.

Farmers, producers and processors were hit by two periods of snowy weather in December which saw temperatures plummet in some parts of the country to as low as -20C and brought some sectors of the industry to a standstill, albeit for shorter periods than other industries.

In the last issue of Meat Trades Journal, Nick Allen, Eblex director, answered readers' questions regarding the increase, saying: "The last time the levy was increased was in 2001, which means it [Eblex] has cut its cloth accordingly for the past 10 years. Interestingly, in that time, livestock prices have increased by over 30%. The opportunity is here now to exploit the global situation, which requires investment for the whole industry to benefit."

If the levy changes are agreed in England, the new rates from 11 April would be 5.40 per head of cattle and 0.80 per head of sheep.

Meanwhile, Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) closed its consultation on 16 December. Gwyn Howells, HCC's chief executive, said: "We have invited and received submissions from supply chain organisations and interested individuals across Wales during the nine-week period and I would like to thank all of those who took part. All submissions will now be considered by HCC's board of directors, which includes member representatives of farmer and processor levy payers, when they meet in the early New Year before a final recommendation is made to the minister's office."

To submit to the Eblex consultation, contact info@ahdb.org.uk or send by post to Guy Attenborough, AHDB, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL.

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