Grass drying started in the UK in the 1930s. Two producers’ associations were subsequently formed – one in the 1950s, the other in 1963 – and these eventually merged in 1971 to form the present Association. BAGCD therefore has a long history of service to the industry, the high standard of which is evidenced by the fact that almost all producers – representing more than 95% of production – are members.
The functions of BAGCD fall into three main areas: political, technical and legal.
- Political activities concentrate on representing the interests of the industry to the British government through DEFRA, and to the European Commission through the European Dehydrators Association, CIDE. The Association also maintains close relationships with the Rural Payments Agancy, the NFU and the Department of the Environment.
- Technical activities centre on the gathering and circulation of information on all developments relating to the industry – agronomy, nutrition, mechanisation, environment etc.
- Legal developments are closely monitored and the Association maintains contact with various regulatory bodies, enabling it to put forward the industry’s views
There are three classes of membership.
- Producer membership is open to all producers of dried green crops in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
- Trade membership is open to companies with an interest in the green crop drying industry, usually as suppliers to producer members.
- Associate membership is available to any individual who wishes to maintain contact with the industry.
The Association is run by a Council consisting of elected producer members and a Secretary who is responsible for day-to-day administration.
Applications for membership should be made, in writing, to the Secretary and will be submitted to Council for approval.
- Meetings of producer members are held regularly throughout the year. In addition to normal Association business, guest speakers are often invited to address the meeting on subjects of particular interest.
- Monthly newsletters keep producer members up-to-date with news and information on commercial, technical and political aspects.
- The Annual General Meeting is held in December each year, when speakers are invited to address the full membership on subjects of particular interest.
- Overseas visits are arranged most years, usually in October, to give members an opportunity to see how the industry operates in other countries.