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.

Farm levy body AHDB announces plans to cut costs by £7.8m

AHDB is ending its activities in the potato and horticulture sectors.
AHDB is ending its activities in the potato and horticulture sectors.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) plans to axe a number of senior management staff as part of efforts to reduce costs by £7.8 million.

The UK farm levy body has also unveiled plans to let levy-paying farmers and agricultural businesses vote on the future direction of its activities in spring next year.

It said the bulk of the £7.8m reduction in its annual staff and overheads budget of £29m – accounting for around £6m – would come from the wind-down of its horticulture and potato sector operations.

This follows votes earlier this year on the future of a statutory levy for the potato and horticulture sectors – 66.4% of potato businesses voted to stop their levy, while 61% of horticulture business backed ending their theirs too.

More than 60% of horticulture growers voted to abolish paying a statutory levy for their sector.

AHDB has previously said the closure of both sector divisions will result in the loss of up to 140 jobs, and the organisation said its latest cost-cutting measures will be implemented over the next two years.

The other savings will come from a number of changes including a 30% reduction in the number of senior managers working at the organisation from 20 to 14.

AHDB chairman, Nicholas Saphir, said a staff restructure had already started and chief strategy officer Will Jackson was now the divisional director for engagement, while interim chief executive officer Ken Boyns is the new divisional director for services.

“This new structure puts a clear focus on day-to-day delivery across all our knowledge exchange, technical, market intelligence, exports and marketing work,” said Mr Saphir.

“At the same time there will be absolute focus on levy payer engagement and involvement in planning sector priorities and programmes.”

He said the revised senior management team will be in place at the beginning of September ahead of the arrival of the new AHDB chief executive Tim Rycroft.

“With our new team now taking shape, this autumn we will be ready to unveil fundamental changes to the way levy payers can have a better say regarding what we provide, including the introduction of regular votes on a wide range of services and delivery,” added Mr Saphir.

AHDB levy-paying farmers will be asked to register to vote on the organisation’s activities.

“We will be asking levy payers to register to vote this autumn, prior to having their say on those topics in spring 2022.”

AHDB interim chief executive officer, Ken Boyns, said the organisation was also reviewing the office provision at its headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

He said: “As part of a further phase of savings in 2022/23 we have identified the opportunity of subletting part of our Stoneleigh HQ.

“The reduction in work for potatoes and horticulture, combined with the last 18 months proving we can deliver effectively without all staff in the office five days a week, means we do not need as much office space.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in