UK farm levy body AHDB has pledged to review and update how levies are calculated for the horticulture and potato sectors and hold a regular ballot on all levies and how they are spent.
The organisation –which operates across the UK for the dairy, cereals, horticulture and potato sectors – made the commitments in response to a government request for views on its operation.
Other commitments include a pledge to seek industry views on a new strategy this autumn, a promise to work with growers to design a modern levy system, and a review of its board and committee set-up, with recommendations due by the end of this year.
The levy body has also pledged to focus its efforts on farm performance and market development, both at home and overseas.
“We have listened carefully to the views expressed by levy payers in response to the government-led request for views, and we are now committed to some key reforms to ensure we are fit for purpose in the changing times British agriculture is facing,” said AHDB chairman Nicholas Saphir.
“Farming and supply chain businesses will need to compete with the best in the world, drawing on the latest insight to improve farm performance, grow market opportunities and meet environmental goals.
“That is what we will provide in our new strategy, and we will commit to telling our levy payers on a regular basis how we are spending their money and the benefits it brings.”
Last month a ballot of almost 2,000 growers delivered a damning verdict on AHDB. The poll, organised by three disenchanted Lincolnshire growers, found 80% of growers in the horticulture and potato sectors did not want to pay a statutory levy.