The Meat & Livestock Commission (MLC) has made 16 of its 53 marketers redundant because its funding has been slashed as a result of the foot-and-mouth crisis.
The redundancies include all ten regional education and health sector managers, which develop meat education lessons with schools, and export product manger Jackie Hruby.
The MLC will be left with 41 marketers. MLC’s top marketer, consumer marketing manager Chris Lamb, is unaffected by the changes.
The MLC receives a levy for every animal slaughtered in the UK for consumption. But the culls which took place during the foot-and-mouth crisis mean the MLC’s levy income for 2001/2002 is expected to be £25m, compared with £32m for 2001/2001.
Twenty-six levy-funded posts, out of a possible 164, will go as a result of the cuts. The MLC employs 620 people.
The MLC was set up in 1967 through the Agriculture Act and it is responsible to Parliament. Its role is to improve the industry’s efficiency and stimulate markets for British meat. It spends 70 per cent of its funds on marketing.
Advertising for the MLC is through BMP DDB. It is not known whether the MLC’s £6m ad budget will be affected by the funding cut. Last year the commission lost an appeal to the Advertising Standards Authority to quash a ruling against its ad campaign which suggested some countries feed dead pigs to piglets.