CONTROVERSIAL Government proposals for cost-sharing in the animal health sector will come under scrutiny on the eve of Beef Expo 2010.

The main speaker will be Rosemary Radcliffe, chairman of the animal health responsibility and cost-sharing programme advisory group.

Organised by the National Beef Association, it takes place at the Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham, on Wednesday, May 26, from 4pm to 6pm.

It is a prelude to Beef Expo 2010, which takes place the following day at Hexham Auction Mart.

Ms Radcliffe, who will also address one of the Beef Expo seminars, was the former chief economist in Europe for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

She carried out the 2005 review of the agricultural levy boards which recommended their merger into today’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Scott Donaldson, chairman of the Beef Expo 2010 organising committee, said the cost-sharing proposals were giving farmers a great deal of concern.

He said: “Ms Radcliffe’s comments will be of particular interest in the light of the outcome of the General Election.”

The advisory group’s recommendations will be submitted to ministers in November.

Other speakers include Stuart Ashworth, head of economic services at Quality Meat Scotland, and Cumbrian farmer John Geldard, who pioneered the food hub concept by supplying locally- produced food products to Asda from his Plumgarth Farm shop on the Lakelands food park, Kendal.

The three finalists for the National Beef Association/Farmers’ Guardian Beef Stockman of the Future award will be announced.

Tickets for the conference cost £5.88 and £36 for the conference and dinner. Contact Euan Emslie on 01430-441870 or email euan@