Views sought on the role of farm levy body AHDB

George Eustice
George Eustice

Farmers have been asked to share their views on the role of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Defra yesterday launched a call to farmers, growers, processors and industry representatives, for their views on the UK-wide levy board.

It said the 10-week exercise, which covers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, would look at AHDB’s purpose and priorities, its strengths and where improvements need to be made.

“At a time when we are designing a new agriculture policy from first principles, now is also a good time to review the role and function of this agricultural and horticultural levy body,” said UK Farming Minister, George Eustice.

“The AHDB collects around £60million a year in statutory levy from farmers and growers and currently uses that money for a range of purposes to support these sectors.

“This request for views is an opportunity for levy payers to have their say about the role and function of the various components of the AHDB in the future.”

AHDB chief executive, Jane King, urged anyone with an interest in agriculture to share their views.

She said: “We welcome this opportunity to gain feedback from farmers and growers, and to help the industry compete in a global marketplace as the country prepares to leave the EU.

“We’d encourage views to shape where we can have the biggest impact and drive value as an independent, evidence-based organisation, which carries out marketing at home and abroad, while sharing best practice and innovation with farmers, growers and the wider industry, at this crucial time.”

Farmers wishing to share their views are invited to complete an online survey by Friday, November 9.

It can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/farming/views-on-ahdb/

Defra also plans to hold a number of workshops in the weeks ahead.

AHDB is the parent body of six different levy collecting divisions. Four of these operate across the UK and two are specific to England.

The UK-wide divisions are AHDB Dairy, AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds, AHDB Horticulture and AHDB Potatoes. In England, there are also AHDB Pork and AHDB Beef & Lamb.

In Scotland, red meat levy spend is managed by Quality Meat Scotland.

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