South west meat event postponed

The south west meat industry conference has been postponed until early next year because of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and bluetongue.

The free one-day event, 'Working Towards a Brighter Future', is jointly organised by Meat South West and the National Farmers' Union (NFU) South West and will now take place on 26 February between 10am and 4.10pm at Sandy Park conference centre in Exeter.

Organiser Helen Ashcroft, said: "Producers, processors and abattoirs have had a very difficult time due to circumstances completely beyond their control. We felt the conference timing was not ideal this autumn and it would be more appropriate to stage it early next year when hopefully the market situation has improved. The aim is to share a wide range of experiences from progressive producers across the UK, highlighting new ways to add value to farm businesses."

An impressive line up enthusiastic speakers and industry experts will be taking part including Meurig Raymond, NFU deputy president and livestock, dairy and arable producer. He farms 2800 acres in Pembrokeshire with his twin brother and has gained considerable knowledge of the UK red meat industry in the global marketplace

Andrew Wear, a pioneering hill producer, is another of the speakers. He farms at Fernhill Farm in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, where The Big Green Gathering, Europe's biggest green event, takes place and will share how he is meeting the challenges.

Ian Pigott, NFU Farming Champion of the Year of the 2006 Farmers Weekly Awards, whose brainchild - Farm Sunday - has tempted thousands of people to visit hundreds of farms through UK to learn about farming methods and the countryside, will talk about the best methods to educate the public.

Places are free but on a first come first served basis. For more details and to register a place, visit www.meatsouthwest.co.uk or email info@meatsouthwest.co.uk or telephone 01837 880443.