Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

AHDB potato levy ballot opens for growers

AHDB petitioners Simon Redden, John Bratley and Peter Thorold.
AHDB petitioners Simon Redden, John Bratley and Peter Thorold.

The ballot on the future of the AHDB potato levy opens today – even as the Stoneleigh-based organisation reels from a decisive rejection by UK horticulture growers.

Tattie businesses who pay the statutory levy have a month to cast their votes on the future of AHDB Potatoes and the work it delivers after 176 potato growing or buying businesses submitted valid requests for a ballot – well above the number required.

The ballot will ask: “Do you think the statutory levy should continue?”

The potato sector’s opportunity to make its views known follows the announcement that 61% of horticulture producers voted against the continuation of their levy, with 39% supporting the status quo. The turnout was 69% of growers.

The three Lincolnshire growers who campaigned for the horticulture vote have accused AHDB chairman Nicholas Saphir of attempting to skew the result of the ballot by claiming that the result was “complex”.

The AHDB had said that in terms of the value of the levy paid, the result was actually 57% in favour and 43% against.

Mr Saphir added: “The voting information reported by UK Engage shows different sentiment across different crop sectors and size of business – it is really a very complex picture.”

Spalding-based grower Simon Redden said: “Mr Saphir now appears to be blatantly trying to change the rules of the ballot to suit his own interpretation on the basis of total levy paid.

“This is clearly a desperate and disgraceful attempt to influence ministers whilst trampling on the views of the two-thirds of levy-payers who have voted to get rid of this statutory levy.”

Vegetable grower Peter Thorold said: “This is not a complex interpretation – merely an assault on the democratic premise of one person, one vote.”

The AHDB declined to make any further comment.

The levy board is continuing with its series of “town hall” meetings, where it is setting out what it believes it offers growers.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]