45th Annual AGM

The sun was shining for this years 45th annual general meeting which took place at the Vale Resort on the last weekend in May. Breeders from all over the country joined together to celebrate the dispersal sale of Tim Prichard’s Castellau flock on Friday 26th May. The Prichard family hosted the sale on their farm in Llantrisant, Mid Glamorgan, seeing a top price of 2800gns. We would like to wish Tim all the best for the future and thank him for all his contributions to the breed over the years.

Members enjoyed many activities on the Saturday including a trip to Cardiff, the use of Wales largest spa and a much-anticipated round of golf between two members. That afternoon breeders joined together for the 45th AGM at the Vale resort. Charles Sercombe, National Chairman reported on a good year despite rising feed costs and severe weather, he urged everyone to ‘Attend and Spend’ at our premier sales and to support your breed. David Sloan, Chairman of Finances delivered the report which shows a healthy balance at the end of the year.

We finished off the day with a delicious meal along with a disco which saw many members dancing into the early hours. Next year the Eastern region will be hosting the AGM.


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Minutes of the 45th Annual General Meeting of the Society held at the Vale Resort Hotel,  Hensol Park, Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY on Saturday 27th May at 4.30 pm

Present :

Charles Sercombe – Chairman
Trustees : David Sloan, Adrian Davies, Sheila Malcomson
Company Secretary : Carroll Barber

Together with members : Jonathan Barber, Andrew Walton, Helen Sercombe, Patrick and Bridget Tully, Helen Sloan, Louise Pollard, Elizabeth Britten, Matthew Beavan, Gethin & Cerys Davies, Paul Curran, Robert Towers, Robert Gregory,

  1. To read the Notice convening the meeting
    The Secretary read the notice of the meeting.        

2.0       To receive apologies for absence.
R Gray, S Dunkley, A Pedrick, C & J Thomas, D Mawhinney, M & M Rushbrooke, D Roberts, D Norman, R Hopper, D Cowan,

3.0       To approve the Minutes of the 44th Annual General meeting
The Chairman drew the meeting’s attention to the minutes of the previous meeting, as circulated.  These were agreed as a true record of proceedings. 

4.0       To receive the report of the Chairman

Chairman reported on an interesting year for Charollais with many outside influences; weather and severe shortage of feed due to drought.  It is a difficult time in all sectors with serious uncertainty and rising costs. Prices for sheep meat were patchy and then have improved.  The country’s new support regime is coming into play and will have repercussions on the industry.   The Society has had a financially successful year and is working well.  Charollais is in a unique position, we have had strong governance since our inception and we can put new processes in place.  We bear the fruits of this situation.  2022 was our first year post covid with a full sale and show season and we did so well.  The breed won numerous interbreed titles and we reported on these successes in Charollais Matters.  These titles are a product of the breed and the way we have developed the breed; functional, correct, with flesh and style; which is an unbeaten mixture.  I was particularly pleased to see so many younger breeders taking these titles and this is good news for the breed in the future. 

Our sales were well supported and good prices were achieved at most venues.  But we do realise that there are challenges to our sales as more options are available to flocks either through market sales, on-line sales and social media.  Our flagship premier sales are highly successful with good clearance and prices; quality of stock presented at these sales is high.  Commercially there is strong demand for the breed: extra length and growth is wanted.  Also our females are wanted; it was excellent to record a new breed record for a shearling ewe at the Logie Durno production sale.  At the Castellau Dispersal Sale on Friday there was an exciting buzz and good quality sheep for sale. 

Your Council has to take difficult decisions; we try to get maximum feedback from members.  Such a decision was if Worcester should be an export sale or not and whether the venue was right. After much deliberation we decided to remain at our venue and not hold an export event; 6 regions out of 7 agreed with this decision. 

DNA – I feel strongly that DNA analysis is the future for the sheep industry.  We need to finesse the system and how the processes run for breeders.   

The sheep industry will face many changes; climate, antibiotic use, welfare but I believe that these changes will put Charollais in a good position. We have a highly functional breed that grows fast and gives excellent carcase quality. The recent results from the   RamCompare trial have shown that the breed excels for these categories. Charollais rams fill the top 3 places for Lamb Value.  I would like to thank Chaz Compare, Andrew Walton and Jamie Wild for the work they have done and to Charollais breeders who put top performance and quality rams into the trial. The new value takes into account days to slaughter as well as carcase traits and is a stepping stone to move forward.  We are an well-established breed and we need to get this message out and thereby improve financial returns from keeping our breed.  I urge you all to ‘Attend and Spend’ our premier sales; please support your breed.

5.0       To receive and, if approved, to adopt the Report & Financial
Statement to 31st December 2022.

The Chairman handed over to David Sloan, Chairman of Finance Committee, who led members through the figures for 2022.  Opening page lists the Trustees and other details of the company. 

Page 1 – sets out the objectives and activities of the Society. The Achievements and Performance have changed to take into account activity post covid.  This states the net movement in funds, which has been impacted by a decrease in the valuation of our investment portfolio. However day to day trading showed a profit of nearly £11k.  Council has met since the year end valuation things have turned round and the valuation has gone back up.

Page 9 – sets out the Income of the Society.   

Donations and gifts figure of £4,277 includes money received from Charollais Sires, which has been wound up.  Registration fees are slightly up on last year.  Genetic testing income, this includes a figure carried forward for an invoice which has never been presented to the Society. The total cost of genetic testing to Society for the subsidies we agreed upon, came to around £4k. Commission on sales was down but sale entry fees were up slightly. AGM income – funds come in and then go out but the accountants wish to show this on both sides and not netted off, as we have done in the past. Income from these activities comes to £145,552. Income from investments, which are share dividends is £7900. Add all these items together and the total income for the year is £184,720.

Page 10 Raising of funds. £24,889 for Advertising plus Builth Wells Dinner costs. Page 11, Genetic testing, sale costs show, yearbook and newsletter and other come to £55,780.  These figures are in line with the budgets set by Council, which included a increase on the publication costs. 

Page 11,  Item 9 – depreciation on office equipment, management and administration same as 2021, postage and telephone – slight reduction, Subscriptions + office expenses can be taken together and covers our subscriptions to Grassroots, insurance, electricity.  Meeting expenses up due to face to face meetings.  Travel and subsistence are now shown together and increased from 2021 due to activity level.  The figure of £91,135 and £1,939 is added to the previous total and the overall expenditure for the year comes to £173,743. If you then take this figure away from the total income you come to a working surplus of £10,977. 

Valuation of stock has reduced during the year (see Note 12) by £40,697.  Page 13 Note 13 set out the value of the Tangible fixed assets.  2 new desktops were purchased during the year and these are depreciated on a straight line 25%.   – depreciation on these. Fixed assets investments stood at £308,612 at December 2022. 

Page 4 – brings all these figures together and this shows the net worth of the Society is £399,245. This is a reduction on 2021 due to the drop in valuation of investments. 

Balance Sheet on Page 5 sets out the Tangible assets and Investment totals.  Add to this the stocks, debtors and cash at bank and in hand, which includes cash element of our portfolio with Barratt & Cooke.  As at 31st December we had around £47k in Barclays current account, £20K in Barclays saving account, plus the cash element in the portfolio.  Creditors similar figure to 2021. This ends with the net worth of £399,245 which is a rise over a 2 year period. 

Chairman thanked DS for his presentation and for the diligent way he goes though the figures.  He asked for any questions.  DS added that for 2023 we have cut back on publications; only one edition of Charollais Matters but have added a commercial leaflet. 

Approval and adoption of the financial statements was proposed by A Walton, seconded by P Tully.

6.0       To confirm the appointment of new Directors and Trustees of the Company

Company Secretary confirmed that elections were due in two regions this year.  In Scotland Russell Gray had been returned to the post.  In the South West region, Amy Pedrick had completed two terms of office and therefore was not eligible for re-election.  Pleased to announce that Patrick Tully had been voted into the role, unopposed. 

Chairman wished to record our thanks to Amy Pedrick for her 6 years in the post, which she undertook with enthusiasm and engendered an excellent level of support in her region.  She also was a constructive and active member on Council and F&GP committee. Chairman welcomed Patrick back to role, after a 10 year gap.  Chairman said we do need to look for members to take on roles within the Society.  These are on a voluntary basis; so please think about this. He added that the Council is a good group of breeders and thanked them for their work.   

Secretary informed the meeting that during the year, Council had conferred the title of Honorary Life Membership to David Mawhinney from Northern Ireland.  David wished to record his thanks to the Society for this honour. 

7.0       To re-appoint Messrs Argents as Independent Examiners for the ensuing year and    to Authorise the Council of Management to fix their remuneration.
This was proposed by A Davies and seconded by R Gregory.

8.0       To transact any other ordinary business of the Society.

8.01      A Walton – reported that the preferred method of social media contact for those who take part in the RamCompare trial work and similar activity is Twitter. The Society currently is not active on this platform. Chairman agreed that we will reactivate our account and tweet in future.  AW added that although the platform does not charge it does take time to keep an and engage with Twitter.

9.0       Date of next meeting
Eastern Region will host the AGM next year. Date and venue to be finalised.  Chairman asked if members were happy with this format?   If there is a demand for a longer format weekend then we will put this on. Otherwise we can always hold the AGM meeting by Zoom and organise an alternative social event.  Please let us have your thoughts and preferences. 

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 17.16.