The federation said it was ‘reviewing costs and looking at whether a different style of large-scale event is viable’.
Questions were being asked about the future for Young Farmers as the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) consulted on new ways to plug the national convention-shaped hole in its finances.
The federation was dealt a blow to its 2017 total budget with a forecasted £61,000 deficit at year-end (as of June 2017), with £56,000 a result of lower than expected convention ticket sales.
While calculations were still being finalised from this year’s event, NFYFC said figures from the last five years suggested an average profit of £144,000 and it was now ‘reviewing costs and looking at whether a different style of large-scale event is viable’.
Speaking at this year’s AGM, chairman of NFYFC’s board of management Heather Black said the missed target on ticket sales in 2017 meant ‘tightening our belts for the rest of the year as the convention surplus is a critical line in the NFYFC income budget’.
She said: “NFYFC’s commercial arm HOPS Labour Solutions faced another challenging year as the UK started Brexit negotiations. It has created an indefinite and competitive market place.
“The uncertainty of the operating surplus means NFYFC’s main budgets remain uncertain too.”
NFYFC’s chief officer James Eckley told Farmers Guardian its new five-year plan, Vision:2023, would be the stepping stone to the federation’s consultation into which services and activities all members valued and ‘what they want to see NFYFC offering in the future’.
He added: “As part of this review and strategic plan, NFYFC will also be benchmarking the organisation against other membership bodies in terms of membership fees, services and overall value for money.”
An Office for National Statistics report said young people aged 16 to 24 were less likely to drink than any other age group, and teetotalism had increased since 2005.
Figures suggested the proportion of adults who said they did not drink alcohol at all was 22.8 per cent, up from 19 per cent.
Of those who do drink, only 28.7 per cent of men and 25.6 per cent of women said they were more likely to ‘binge’ on alcohol on their heaviest drinking day.