The 12th Annual General Meeting of Ollardale - the farming co-operative - was held on Thursday, March 22 in Holestone YFC Hall.
Chairman Denis Boyd welcomed a large turnout of guests and members and thanked them for their continued support. He also thanked his fellow directors and secretaries, Heather Patterson and Irene Agnew for their hard work.
Denis introduced Mrs Valerie Saunders from the Norther Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association. Mrs Saunders gave a talk on the work of the charity and Denis and Heather handed over a donation of £1,000.
The Society’s accountant, James Gage, presented the accounts for the year ended 2011. Yet again Ollardale has had another successful year’s trading. In addition to obtaining quality products at competitive prices members also received substantial bonuses and loyalty rewards.
The three directors retiring by rotation every year were re-elected.
Ian Kernohan, Ulster Farmers’ Union Consultant gave a presentation of the co-op’s activities throughout the year. Purchases made through the group totalled approximately £2.6million. The main products purchased were animal feed, fertiliser, dosing stuffs, detergents, sprays and fuel.
Denis welcomed the Guest Speaker for the evening - Jim Nicholson, MEP.
Mr Nicholson outlined the current proposals relating to the CAP and Single Farm Payment. He gave an insight into the time scales and the processes involved in trying to agree a reformed policy that meets the needs of all farmers in all the member states.
He went on to discuss what the breakdown of the payment would be in the future in relation to greening, cropping, area based payments and young farmer entitlement.
In summarising, Jim Nicholson said that in its current format the CAP proposals are very complicated and bureaucratic which would cost member states a lot of money to administer and ensure compliance. His main aim is to try and simplify the proposals to make it more workable and simpler for farmers.
Following a question and answer session, Johnny Coleman thanked Mr Nicholson for a very informative and interesting talk.
The evening concluded with supper.