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Union Focus on Delivering Greater Value to Members

Annual accounts show small net loss set against strong balance sheet

Union activity across Scotland in response to the headline issues of 2014 has ensured its grass roots membership has been fully engaged in the debates around independence, CAP Reform and agricultural tenancy changes.

A surge in the number of roadshows and events hosted by the Union has led to a significant increase in its operating costs contributing to a net loss of £60,000 recorded for 2014.  However, the Union remains in robust financial health with cash at bank of £550,000 and net assets of £1.93 million.

The Union’s Board has approved an increase in subscriptions of two percent for 2015.  The Union continues to deliver a very high standard of service to its members, through its network of head office, local group secretaries and regional staff.

The Union is committed to ensuring it has a package of member benefits and services, in addition to its principle activity of lobbying that, if taken up, would return to members the full value of their subscription and more.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:

“The last 12 months will be remembered as a year for big decisions.  To ensure our members’ views on major issues like independence, CAP Reform and agricultural tenancies were taken into account, we had to get out and about across all parts of Scotland to discuss the detail.  When it comes to engagement, there is little to beat face-to-face meetings but that comes at a cost.

“This has been a unique year and the surge in our operational costs is largely reflective of how active our officeholders and staff have been.  That groundwork has given us a clear mandate when we have engaged with politicians on these important issues.  

“New workstreams on regional issues such as flooding, geese and sea eagles, as well as new campaigns on dyslexia, farm safety and the air ambulance emergency service have also seen the Union respond positively to new initiatives in 2014 and give them the appropriate level of support.

“We have also had to push resources to address the turmoil experienced in the poultry, beef, lamb, cereal and dairy sectors in what has been a turbulent 12 months.

“Although recording a loss for the year, the Union remains in robust financial health and is well placed to respond and react to whatever 2015 may bring.

“We never take the support of our membership for granted and every subscription helps ensure Scottish farming continues to have the strongest voice possible in the political corridors of Europe, Westminster and Holyrood.  It enables us to engage more closely than ever with those who supply services to farm businesses and those major end users – such as processors, retailers or drinks companies – who buy the produce that comes from our farms.

“But most importantly, it allows us to deliver a personal service to each and every individual member when they need our help or advice.  

“Recognising that this is going to be a very challenging year for many sectors, we will do everything possible to help our membership.  While our principle activity and reason for being here is to lobby politicians and the supply chain for the benefit of farm businesses during the course of last year, and in the coming 12 months we will be working to offer a range of new discounts and exclusive member only benefits on many products.   Ultimately the aim is to be able to return the value of each member’s subscription back in the wide range of member discounts on offer.

Notes to Editors

  • Members of NFU Scotland will receive a copy of the Union’s annual report and accounts with the January issue of the Union’s monthly membership magazine, The Scottish Farming Leader.
  • The Union’s Net Loss for the year, after accounting for investment and other income and taxation was £60,519. Net profit last year was £82,968 and the year before £89,461.
  • An increase in staff and additional operating costs primarily in activity were the reasons for moving from profit to loss
  • New auditors recommended a change in treatment of government grants and this is reflected in the figures. Also recommended was the revaluation of property to estimated market value and removal of the need for a year end subscription debtor balance. The latter two being recognised in the statement of total recognised gains and losses.
  • The balance sheet remains strong with cash at bank of £549,161, down by only £25,649 on last year’s balance of £574,810.
  • Net assets remain strong at £1,930,724
  • The subscription rate increase for 2015, as agreed by the Board of Directors, will be 2.0 percent.  The Union’s current business plan sets out the intention that any subscription rate increases should be below the rate of inflation.

Subscription Rates


Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006 or Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 192/14


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