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Creditor) & Witheridge Group

Creditor! & Witheridge Group Newsletter - Spring 2013 From the Chairman... I farm at Dowrich, Sandford on our 600 acre family dairy farm, we have about 240 Organic cows plus followers, beef stores, a few outdoor pigs and some Christmas trees. I am married to Helen and we have two sons, Tom runs his own fabrication business and George is currently studying at Harper Adams in Shropshire. Thank you all for electing me and David Gillbard of Morchard Bishop for "volunteering" to be my ViceChairman. During my term of office I hope to bring us all together a bit more as I think meeting up both for social & business purposes has been a bit lacking lately! To this effect I have been speaking with Newton St Cyres YFC and we have decided to have a joint Cider & Pasty Quiz on Friday 1st March @ 8.00 p.m. at Sandford Parish Hall with prizes for the best NFU or YFC team. So come on and get your chums together (you only need four), rattle those brain cells and enter a team and encourage others to do the same.(a drink & pasty included in entry fee) entries please to Jeremy. If there are any local issues that I / we can help with or a particular subject that needs addressing please call myself on 01363 774254 or Jeremy on 01363 775511. Don't forget it's YOUR N.F.U. Regards Roger From The Group Secretary.... My first year in place as your Group Secretary was completed in November. It has been a very eventful year. I would like to thank all of you for your support over the last twelve months. The local branch is in good health at the end of the 2012 membership year. We have 202 members up from 198 members at this time last year. Now to collect subs for 2013... Welcome to Roger Lee as our new Chairman and also to David Gillbard as the new Vice Chairman. As you may know we have moved office from Church View to Exeter Road. We held a very successful open day in conjunction with St Boniface Vets in early July. Roger Lee cut the ribbon on our new office. I have fulfilled my own commitment to contribute to the Farmer & Grower each month so branch news has hit every members doormats. Nick Cordwent (our outgoing Chairman) and I wanted to organise at least two events in 2012. We had a farm walk and BBQ at Nick's farm on the 18th August which I thoroughly enjoyed. We organised a coach trip to the Royal Cornwall Show and I plan to run both events in 2013 so watch this space! Alan Webber and his family kindly hosted an MP meeting between our sector linkmen and Mel Stride MP on the 13th April. This meeting has opened avenues of communication for our local branch and Mel has since been in touch by letter answering the points raised to him. Mel and his aides are coming to us for the farming view on current topics so I see this as a success. From my point of view as your group secretary it seems to me we are most effective when lobbying so I would like to make this MP meeting an annual event. Mid Devon Show in July was an opportunity to work with the Tiverton agency and share the NFU stand. I intend to continue this for the future. I saw many members and it seems right we have a presence at this show. And finally on the theme of doing more the change process for Crediton NFU Mutual has not stopped yet. Richard Pym (formerly the NFU Membership Manager in the region) has joined me as my new business partner in the Crediton agency! A prosperous 2013 to you all. Regards Jeremy


Chairman Mr Roger Lee Tel: 01363 774 254 Vice-Chairman Mr David Gillbard Tel: 01363 877 279 Group Secretary Jeremy Atkins Tel: 01363 775 511 Sector Linkmen: Milk-Ian Huxtable, Bill Blake Livestock - Michael Ayre, Jim Stephens Arable - Rob May Organic - Alan Webber, Phil Thomas, Richard Burston Exeter Market - Michael Ayre, Jim Stephens

NFU Helplines NFU CallFirst for business help, advice & support for members Tel: 0870 845 8458 NFU Mutual Motor Claims Tel: 0800 282 652 NFU Mutual Crediton Exeter Road Crediton Devon EX17 3BN Tel: 01363 775 511 Rural Stress Information Network Tel: 02475 412 916 Regional R.A.B.I Manager Pam Wills T: 01749 838 682 Devon Farmers' Benevolent Fund John Daw Tel: 01363 877 238 Farm Crisis Network Tel: 0845 367 9990 The Samaritans Tel: 08457 909 090 Rural Crimes Officer SCInsp Robert Webb Tel: 07889421028.

The voice of British farming -

New Office & New Business Partnership The new office opened last year, situated next to St Boniface Vets on the Exeter Road.

CAP Meetings If the EU leaders (Mr Cameron et al) can agree their differences and find an agreement to the EU budget in February then a final agreement on CAP reform would be due over the summer. Member states would then have 18 months to work the regulations into national law to comply by 01/01/2015. We intend to hold three meetings on the 21 March to discuss CAP reform proposals. This is a great opportunity to air your views and understand all the reform implications. We propose kitchen table meetings in the Witheridge, Morchard Bishop & Crediton areas on Thurs 21 March for approximately 1 7 hrs each. 9 - 11.30, 11.30 -1pm, 2- 2.30pm. If you would like to host or attend please let Jeremy know on 01363 775511 st


Our new office on Exeter Road Richard Pym has been appointed as the new Agent at the Crediton NFU Mutual office, where he will join Jeremy in a new business partnership. Richard says: "I am delighted to have joined the Crediton NFU Mutual office as an Agent and pleased that I will retain links with such an important industry as farming. Jeremy and his team are very experienced and provide great service and I am really looking forward to working with them and meeting the membership, insurance and financial services needs of our customers." Over the last two years Richard has been a Business Development Manager for the NFU, based at the Regional Office in Exeter.

Health & Safety Executive Fees for Intervention Staying ahead of all the latest Health and Safety regulations can be difficult particularly with a hectic business to run. Nonetheless, health and safety regulations can't be ignored and ifs essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes to keep up to date especially with recent changes to how the Health and Safety Executive operate. HSE now operates a Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, which came into effect on 1 October 2012. Under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations in 2012, those who break health and safety laws are liable for recovery of HSE's related costs which include inspection, investigation and taking enforcement action. The 'Fee for Intervention' hourly rate for 2012/13 is £124. The many businesses that comply with their legal obligations will continue to pay nothing but please ask yourself these two questions; • How do you know you comply with current Health and Safety regulations? Can you prove it? For further advice please contact Jeremy or Kerrie to discuss Risk Management

News from the SW Livestock Board by Jim Stephens New Agent - Richard Pym

I have been Devon delegate on the South West Livestock Board for the last three

years. The topics and issues vary but unfortunately some remain such as TB although we also encounter fresh problems. It is a concern of me and colleagues on the Board that civil servants and politicians do not realise the implications of some of their decisions to farmers such as us who are trying to keep livestock. The Chief Vet recently announced on TV that Schmallenberg was a low impact disease. I suppose it is for anyone with a secure salary and a large pension but it has already been distressing and devastating to early lambing flocks and any dairy and suckler herds. The legacy of this crippling disease could be with us for many years. There is talk of a vaccine but whether it will be an annual or lifetime dose is unclear. For the first year or two animals will be meticulously vaccinated but after a while the routine will be dropped and deemed unnecessary by farmers, leading to it grumbling on. At a kitchen meeting with Owen Paterson the DEFRA minister and Neil Parish MP, last Friday, the first hour was spent discussing TB and its consequences for movement and trading of animals under the new regulations. It was refreshing to hear at last a politician that is willing to listen as well as having an in depth knowledge of rural and agricultural affairs. He has travelled widely studying TB to New Zealand, Ireland, Michigan USA and France. All of these countries have had to control their respective disease wildlife in order to bring it under control.He was unaware of the number of Llamas and Alpacas in Devon and whilst cattle movements, testing and identification are rigorously implemented the requirements needed for camelids who are very susceptible to TB are nonexistent. We have previously tried to tell politicians and vets that this aspect should be addressed with no effect. The beef and cull cow price has strengthened and it is noticeable that some of our main abattoir suppliers have been sending out censuses wanting to know what numbers are on their customers farms. It probably does no harm to keep them guessing. The supermarkets are going to be DNA testing their beef after the recent fiasco with horse burgers. If food manufacturers are forced to provide cheap products it is obvious that some will look for dodgy ingredients. Sheep prices having held up well for the last couple of years have taken a

disappointing downturn over the last ten weeks at a time of year when they should be rising. With fat lamb prices down £30 per head and breeding sheep back by 50% there are several reasons. The weather, exporters reluctant to sell to Southern Europe with fear of not being paid and the supermarkets pre booking up to a third more NZ lamb bought at a third of the price compared to last year. So will the price improve and what can be done to help it? Our farm organisations next summer are intending to liaise with NZ Cooperatives so that there is not an oversupply of lamb at certain times of year. To help exports a credit guarantee scheme would be helpful. Farmers would also like levy payers to feel that a larger proportion of their money to EBLEX was spent on promoting their product than fuelling the recycling box. Any branch members that have livestock issues that need raising please get in contact. Here is hoping for spring sunshine, I have spotted the first wild primroses and the daffodils are in bud.

SOS Dairy - Report on the London Meeting, July 2012 by Roger Lee At very short notice a meeting was arranged for 11th July at Central Hall Westminster for all U.K. Dairy producers in response to Intended 2p/litre cut to milk price due to take place from 1st August 2012 by several big processors. Coaches were hastily arranged from all over the U.K. some sponsored by the NFU and many by various farm& feed suppliers. Will Jones & myself met our coach at Junct. 27 .Alex Stevens was our leader and we were also joined by Devon NFU Chairman Colin Rowland. The coach should have been full but some had jibbed out overnight and others had decided to travel by another firm's coach ( which you could see Alex was extremely frustrated by!) Further members were picked up at Taunton and Mere in Wiltshire, after a quick break at Fleet Services where we met other coaches from Exeter & West Devon, we found ourselves outside the Tate Gallery in Central London, a brisk walk past Parliament and we were in Central Hall having a light buffet lunch kindly arranged for us. The meeting was attended by nearly 3000 Dairy farmers with standing room only left. The main speaker was Mansel Raymond who received a standing ovation after his speech.

Peter Kendal had been stuck in Southern France after his plane was cancelled at short notice whilst on a family Holiday (As Mansel said "I wouldn't have wanted to be the Booking Clerk on the Desk this morning") Many other speakers put over their points very well. Jim Paice had a tough time as could be expected and was left in no doubt about the mood of the dairy industry. He did say he was one of the few ministers that has actually milked cows for a living! Later the Meeting was opened up to questions from the floor. One question that came from a young Cornish Farmer who's wife was not from farming stock "How much longer do I have to work these ridiculous hours to make a living before I can spendtimewith the wife & kids? What Minister can I tell my wife? The meeting concluded with the promise that if nothing happened by 1st Aug then things would really happen!! Things have already happened and by thetimeyou read this even more I hope will have happened. At least now all the main parties are fighting on the same side to protect and enhance one of the pivotal industries in the UK which both directly and indirectly support many thousands of worthwhile jobs I myself was glad to be a part of "SOS Dairy - The Day the Dairy Farmers came to Town".

When is a silent partner off the hook? Advice from Foot Anstey NFU Panel Solicitor. Many agricultural businesses are formed through partnerships. With the partners being made up of various family members. The usual scenario is for parents to hand over the reigns to their offspring as they start to play a greater role in the day-to-day operations of the farm. At some point intimethe elders in many instances become silent partners. But whatrisksdo silent partners face? Take for example the following fictional characters and circumstances. Sarah and Raymond are nearing retirement They operate a farm in a partnership with their son, Mark. Mark runs the farm without any input from them. Three issues have arisen: 1. There is a crack in a barn roof and Mark is thinking of asking an employee, Ivor tofixit.

2. There have been problems with dirty water run-off from the milking parlour flowing into the river. 3. Mark has heard from a friend that there are some new rules about the storage of slurry and dirty water. These instances aren't particularly uncommon, but the affect on the silent partners could be significant. 1. If Ivor fell off the roof this could result in an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 generally requires work at heights to be avoided, but where this is not possible it must be suitably planned so as to reduce the risk of a fall. 2 .If a complaint was received by the Environment Agency from someone downstream there could be an investigation into a breach of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010. 3. The SAFFO Regulations 2010 (the Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations) aims to prevent water pollution from storage of silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil. The regulations provide for five months storage of slurry and dirty water. The above is a salutary reminder that if proceedings were brought in any of the above cases then all three partners could be prosecuted separately. Such proceedings can carry heavy fines and costs. For individual partners, convicted in the most severe cases, there can also be terms of imprisonment. Just because they no longer take an active role in the business does not give Sarah and Raymond any defence. This is one of the reasons why we advise that a farming business should take regular advice about their business structure. If you would like further information or advice, please contact Nigel Lyons, partner, Regulatory and Advocacy Team on 01752 675057 or email:

QUIZ NIGHT Newton St Cyres YFC and Crediton & Witheridge NFU are hosting a Quiz Night at Sandford Village Hall on Friday 1 March at 8pm. st

£10 per team of 4. £40 1 Prize, £20 2 Prize and £10 3 Prize. Entry includes a drink and pasty for each team member. Please contact Jeremy if you want to enter a team on 01363 775511 st



Diary Dates 2013 Crediton & Witheridge Branch

Banks - early repayment problems & interest rate swap arrangements

The Royal Cornwall Show

Fri 1 * March - Quiz with NFU branch & NSC YFC - Sandford Village Hall Tue April 23" - Safe Working In Agriculture VQ Day TBC - Farm Walk/BBQ Thurs 6* June - Bus to Royal Cornwall Show Sun 9* June - Open Farm Sunday Tue 15 Oct - Safe Working In Agriculture VQ Day Tue 12 Nov-Annual Open Meeting

Have any members recently experienced problems with banks not declaring onerous penalties on loans? Or demanding early repayment? We have had a couple of cases recently and the legal assistant scheme has proved its worth. If you are having problems please contact Jeremy.

Show Season

Milk price

Subscriptions & Communications

The situation with the milk price provided us with an opportunity for some direct action and thank you to Will & Jo Jones and John & Marilyn Dawe for providing support leafleting customers at Morrisons one Saturday morning last summer. Again by working across the country over the same weekend the Union was able to provide some alternative PR for this and other supermarkets which changed their outlook, at least in the short term. An active branch is one that will attract more members so please do tell me if you feel we should be doing more. As long as it is legal!

If you have any questions about your Sub's please contact Jeremy on 01363 775 511 Please ensure that if you pay by cheque that you do pay promptly by your payment anniversary - it is your subs that keep your union working for you! Please let Jeremy have your email address & mobile phone number so we can keep you up to date with important news. Please don't forget you have access to your members pages on NFU ONLINE too!




We will be running a bus for branch members, friends and families to/from RCS on Thursday 6 June, Return Ticket is ÂŁ5 per person so it is cheaper than driving. Let us take the hassle out of getting to a great day out; let Jeremy know if you would like to book a place. 01363 775 511 th


16 , 17 & 18* May - Devon County Show 6 , 7 & 8 June - Royal Cornwall Show Sat 27 July - Mid Devon Show Thurs 15 August - Chagford Show Wed 2 Oct - South West Dairy Show Bath & West Showground th








Regional Board Dates Regional Livestock Board Commencing 1pm Mon 13* May - Regional Office Exeter Regional Combinable Crops Board Commencing 11am Mon 4* March - Taunton NFU Office Wed 1st May - Regional Office Exeter Wed 19* June - Taunton NFU Office Regional Dairy Board Commencing 11am Wed 13 March - Regional Office Exeter Wed 10 July-Taunton NFU Office th

Farm skills at St Boniface Our neighbours - St Boniface Veterinary Clinic will be running the following courses:


Regional Poultry Board Commencing 1pm Tues 14 May - Taunton NFU Office th

Tenants Forum Commencing 11am Wed 27 March-TBC th

Devon Annual Open Meeting Fri 22 Nov-TBC nd

NFU National Conference

27* - 28* Feb - Birmingham ICC

For more information on any of the above visit For local NFU Mutual information

Heifer rearing- post weaning 18th February Heifer rearing - pre weaning 14th March Safe and Responsible use of Medicines - 22nd March Environmental Mastitis - 1 1 March Heifer rearing- post weaning 2nd May th

To book your place please contact Ruth Wotton at St Boniface on 01363 772 860, or pop into the St Boniface Veterinary Clinic on Exeter Road.

Local Shows We will be at Chagford Show on Thursday 15 August for the first time, sharing the NFU/NFU Mutual pitch with Shirley & Elaine from the Newton Abbot Agency. Richard and Jeremy look forward to seeing any members and providing some friendly hospitality. As last year we will also be at the Mid Devon Show on Sat 27 July partnering Herbie & Emily from the Tiverton Agency. th


County Advisor Andrew Butler is our Devon County Advisor. We are lucky to have someone of his calibre supporting members with his specialist knowledge. Andrew is currently organising MP Meetings for us and other groups as well as lobbying DEFRA locally to speed up SPS Payments for some members. Please contact Jeremy if you would like help. Remember we are here for you!

Crediton & Witheridge NFU  
Crediton & Witheridge NFU  

Spring Newsletter 2013