National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

10 February 2014

The NFYFC Council has proposed a 20% increase in the subscription fee that members pay to be part of the national federation.

The decision was made at the first Council meeting of the year, where representatives from counties across England and Wales discussed the Federation’s finances and how it could continue to deliver the full range of services members wanted.

The level of services delivered by NFYFC currently far outweighs the money covered by the national subscription – known as the levy – and the Federation is therefore over reliant on other non-guaranteed funding sources.

Currently the total income from members, which includes the subscription, money made from Annual Convention and other events, equates to 41% of the Federation’s running costs. Another 27% of running costs is secured through grants and commercial sponsorship, which leaves a gap in funding of 32%.

This gap is partly due to changes to the HOPs Labour Solutions business that is wholly owned by NFYFC.  As a former operator of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWs), which the Government ended on 31 December 2013, HOPS has redeveloped its business. During this period of transition, NFYFC is unable to guarantee the same level of funding from its commercial arm.

All Council members were given a detailed set of accounts and tasked with suggesting ways to increase income to the Federation or cut costs. One option proposed at the meeting was to increase the levy by 20% - for both members and associates – for the membership year 2014/15. But other funding will also need to be sought.

The levy was last billed in September 2013 and cost £11.36 per member. The levy is a set figure of £220,900, which is divided between each member of the organisation. Depending on the number of members, the individual cost of the levy to each member can go up or down (eg, if NFYFC’s membership numbers doubled from the existing total, the cost of the levy would only be £5.68 per member). 

Council representatives have returned to their counties to discuss the finances with them ahead of the Annual General Meeting in May, where members will be asked to vote on the proposed levy increase.

For the last two years members have voted against an increase in the national levy but National Chairman of Council Claire Worden hopes that members will pull together this time to save some of NFYFC’s treasured services.

“It’s a difficult situation and as a Council we are faced with some tough decisions to make. No one likes increasing the levy but we have to take action so the Federation can keep delivering the services we love – such as the range of competitions currently offered.

“Due to the way the levy has been set, I know it’s not easy to get your head around but we have tried to deliver a really clear breakdown for Council members to discuss with counties. We know that the increase will affect certain counties more than others due to the way they set their own subscription fees. I want to work together with counties on this though so we can move forward as a united Federation.”

For more information about the proposed national levy increase please contact James Eckley.

For a round up of decisions made at Council, click here.

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