Thursday, 16 October 2014

Reviewing how we spend your levy money

Making levy payers aware of the full breadth of activity that EBLEX does to benefit the beef and sheep industry is one of the most difficult jobs faced by our communications team.

There are an estimated 60,000 beef and sheep producers spread around England, including many in remote upland areas. All of them work long hours and are field-based in the most literal sense of the word, which can make communicating with them a challenge.

Nearly 50 per cent of those 60,000 are signed up to the Better Returns Programme (BRP), our skills and knowledge transfer initiative through which we run events and provide practical information to help beef and sheep farmers identify where they can make business improvements .

Even these producers who are more switched on to EBLEX are unlikely to be aware of everything we do. Our consumer marketing activity, for example, is designed to target groups such as mothers, who are still responsible for most of the cooking and grocery shopping, and students, the next generation of beef and lamb consumers. And our work on the export front necessarily takes place far away from England’s green and pleasant land, in places as diverse and far flung as Inner Mongolia and the Ivory Coast.

However, as EBLEX is responsible for investing over £15 million of levy income to the benefit of the industry, we have a duty to do as much as we can to communicate what we’re doing to as many English beef and sheep farmers as possible. For the more financially-minded, this information is contained in the AHDB Annual Review and Accounts. However, we appreciate that most busy farmers don’t have the time to plough through a necessarily-weighty document and for this reason we produce an annual review, which gives a snapshot of our key achievements over the previous financial year.