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Successful AGM For BETA

THIS year's BETA AGM was well attended with more than 40 members travelling to Saddler's Hall in London.

BETA president Sir Adam Butler welcomed everyone before Chairman Rob Welch updated members of the activities of the last 12 months.

Said Mr Welch: "It is pleasing to report that the membership of the association continues to grow thanks to the unstinting efforts of our Field Officers.

"For the second year running over 100 new companies were offered membership of the association with particular growth in retail and trade, bringing the total membership to date of nearly 700 for the first time in BETA's history.

"BETA is undoubtedly becoming truly representative of the total spectrum of equestrian businesses. BETA is considered to be the business association for the equestrian sector and the increased interest in membership from a wider range of businesses involved in the industry is reflective of this.

"As well as being a focus for new companies entering the industry, other areas showing growth are the equine tourism sector and services sector, including education."

Mr Welch praised the hard work carried out last year by Field Officer's Norma Smithson and Tricia Nassau-Williams.

"The activities of a Field Officer are invaluable in providing updates to the Secretariat on the retail environment and particularly following the impact if Foot and Mouth Disease."

On member promotions, Mr Welch reported that BETA had worked hard to raise the profile with attendance at a number of major consumer shows at both home and abroad.

With regard to training he said there was a huge improvement in the professionalism of the industry and a host of new courses had been very well received.

"Across the spectrum of courses, more than 200 people have taken advantage of these training opportunities," he reported.

In discussing member services Mr Welch said there had been a number of new initiatives including a deal with the HSBC on card transactions, a discounted website service and currently under negotiation was a business helpline.

On export development, he said that BETA had secured more than £230,000 from Trade Partners UK under the SESA scheme to assist with companies attending overseas shows.

Mr Welch confirmed that lobbying remained a major part of BETA'S activity and work over the year had included taking up the challenge to fight VAT on riding hats and maintaining a careful watch over increasing feed legislation coming from Brussels.


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