National Trust AGM 2013

This year the National Trust’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 26 October at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. The event gives our members the opportunity to find out more about the Trust’s work and to ask questions. Members can also vote for new members of the Trust’s Council and vote on members’ resolutions.

This year there are nine vacancies for our Council, for which 23 candidates have put themselves forward. The agenda for the meeting also includes two members’ resolutions, proposed by five members and supported by a minimum of a further 50.

The two resolutions are on:

The summary of the resolution and the Board of Trustees responses are:

Sourcing Fairtrade tea

The resolution proposes that the tea procurement policy falls in line with the National Trust report published in 2009 and that tea in all National Trust properties specifically carries the Fairtrade Mark.

The Board of Trustees is sympathetic to this resolution but has recommended that members vote against it. This is because the current tea brand used is part of the Rainforest Alliance, which shares similar goals as Fairtrade but which has a better fit with the Trust’s specific purposes.

Badger vaccination on National Trust land

The resolution  calls for the National Trust to immediately initiate a badger vaccination programme on all the land it owns, manages or controls in order to help stop the spread of bovine TB (bTB) and to prevent National Trust land being part of any proposed badger cull.

The Trust is piloting a badger vaccination programme at our Killerton Estate in Devon. However, there is insufficient evidence to support a universal roll-out of badger vaccination as a sole means of addressing bovine TB infection from badgers. There is scientific evidence that, under rigorous conditions, culling badgers as part of a package of measures can make a difference in reducing the disease in cattle. We will not support such culling on Trust land unless we are satisfied that these conditions can be substantially met.

The Board of Trustees therefore does not currently believe we should rely solely on badger vaccination, or rule out culling, so is unable to recommend members support the resolution.

A full report of both resolutions and the arguments proposed by the members and the Board of Trustees is included in the latest edition of the National Trust Magazine and online.

Details on how to vote are also available in the National Trust Magazine and online. The results will be published after the AGM. Under our constitution the outcomes of resolutions are not binding but they are taken into account by the Trust’s management in its decision making.

Ends

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