RMIF to end current role

The Red Meat Industry Forum will cease to continue in its current form from 31 March, due to the ending of its funding, mainly from Defra.

RMIF chief executive Martin Grantley-Smith (pictured) will be moving to the new Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), as will RMIF project manager Christine Walsh.

Paul Jose, operations manager for the RMIF, is leaving the forum at the end of this month to take on the role of chief operating officer with waste treatment company TVD. Jose said that, with the vesting of the AHDB from 1 April, there was still work to be done to manage the integration of the forum into the new organisation. "The work of the forum is of value to the AHDB across the sector, if nothing else. The Management Development Programme shows there is a demand for it within the industry."

He added that the forum would be continuing with recruitment for the next course, which starts in July. "There is a bit of a holding position in the interim, while the AHDB gets vested and everything settles down."

Jose said he had no doubt that the work of the forum will be carried forward in some shape or form in AHDB and the lessons learnt into the sector. "The bottom line is there is a little bit of uncertainty, but I think we have a good enough track record. There will be demand both on the farm side and the processing side and things will be picked up and carried forward. We have had assurances from AHDB chairman John Bridge and the steering committee to that effect."

He continued: "The forum won't work on its own with the identity it currently has. It has to dovetail in with the wider body. It will re-evolve into a different shape and form."