The well attended 24th annual general meeting of Sperrin Producers Co-operative Limited was held last Thursday evening in The Dolphin, Gortnahey Road, Dungiven.
Members and guests were welcomed by vice chairman Dermot McCullagh, who proceeded to conduct the official business of the group. This included the introduction of the incoming secretary Nigel Marsh, upon completion of which, Dermot acknowledged the retirement of secretary Ian Buchanan after many years in the post.
Dermot thanked Ian for his dedicated service and commitment to Sperrin Producers and acknowledged how much he had achieved through his personal commitment to the co-op since it was founded.
Ian’s wife Pamela was also recognised for her role in supporting Ian with the administration of Sperrin Producers Co-op Ltd. The presentation of a gift was followed by Ian Buchanan thanking the members with a short speech recalling some of the mile stone moments he had encountered during his time as secretary.
The vice chairman thanked guests Gordon Donaldson and Martin Scott, of John Thompson & Sons, who generously sponsored the supper and Colin Gibson, of L W Surphlis, who kindly provided the raffle prizes at the meeting.
Both gentlemen respectively thanked the members of Sperrin Producers for their support and encouraged members to continue to take advantage of the buying strength and competitive rates the committee had secured for the members.
Guarantees were given by both feed suppliers that they would continue to endeavour to supply quality blends and compounds at the best possible rates.
Gordon and Colin in turn went on to acknowledge the dedicated contribution made by Ian Buchanan over the years and wished Ian and Pamela well for the future.
The guest speaker for the evening was Mr Jim Nicholson MEP.
Mr Nicholson talked on the topic of “Our role in European Agriculture” and covered areas of interest including changes to the Common Agriculture Policy, the uniqueness of conacre in Northern Ireland, Active Farmers and food security.
A lively question and answer session followed where attending members queried Mr Nicholson on topics such as the Euro, future potential changes to the CAP, talking to DARD about implementation of new rules from Brussels and the potential advantages and disadvantages of leaving the European Union.
Members had further opportunity to speak with Mr Nicholson whilst enjoying an excellent supper before the evening drew to a successful conclusion.