The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents 28,000 landowning farm and rural businesses, nearly 3,000 of them in Wales, has been announced as a winner at this year’s Association Excellence Awards at an event held at the Kia Oval in London.
The CLA was announced winner in the category: ‘Best Membership Support during COVID-19’ for organisations with more than 5,000 members.
From early on in the pandemic, the CLA’s hundred strong team supported at least 3,500 members with personal phone calls from CLA staff providing them with bespoke support, with around 500 members calling the CLA for Covid-19 related advice.
The Association also successfully lobbied the UK government and Welsh Government for major changes such as a 75% cut in VAT for tourism and hospitality businesses, whilst working with a cross industry coalition to feed the nation, promoting farm work to the unemployed and furloughed.
The Association Excellence Awards celebrate and encourage the vital work that associations, trade organisations, unions and industry bodies do for and on behalf of their members.
Commenting on winning the award, CLA Director General Sarah Hendry said:
“I am over the moon at the CLA being announced as winner in this category. It is testament to the very real and concerted efforts of my colleagues to support our members in a very challenging time.”
“From the outset, our plan was simple, focusing on advising and reassuring our members, as well as lobbying government for appropriate support. Our members can be doubly-assured that the CLA is in their corner supporting their needs in the face of adversity.”
“I thank the whole of Team CLA on this well-deserved Award as they continue to work relentlessly hard to support our members. As things are getting back to a semblance of normal we will now focus on how we can support the rural economy’s recovery.”
Other trade body and association contenders on this year’s highly competitive short-list included the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals; Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy; Federation of Small Businesses; The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; National Residential Landlords Association; Nautilus International, The National Hair & Beauty Federation; Society for Education and Training; Public Relations and Communications Association: and the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.