Fruit, vegetable and flower growers are invited to attend a series of open meetings about the future of a statutory levy for the horticulture sector.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is holding meetings next month ahead of a ballot on the continuation of its horticulture operations.
The levy body was forced to organise the ballot, which is expected to take place in January, after it received more than 100 formal requests for a vote on the continuation of statutory levies for horticulture growers.
The requests were delivered to AHDB by a trio of disgruntled Lincolnshire growers, who are lobbying for a change in the way levies are collected and spent from the horticulture and potato sectors.
The trio organised a poll of almost 2,000 horticulture and potato growers in July, which found 92% felt current AHDB policies are of no, or marginal, benefit to their business, and 80% do not want to pay a statutory levy.
AHDB horticulture chairman, Hayley Campbell-Gibbons, said she hoped the series of events would give growers an insight into the organisation’s commitments for change and its new five-year strategy.
The online events, which run from December 14-17, will cover fruit, field vegetables, protected edibles and mushrooms, and ornamentals.
“These events give growers the chance to engage with us directly, help shape our strategy for the next five years and express their views on AHDB’s change commitments,” said Ms Campbell-Gibbons.
“We are open to all suggestions and feedback on how we invest the levy on behalf of all our crop sectors.”
She added: “We also hope growers will come away with a better understanding of the value AHDB adds to individual businesses and the industry so they can make an informed decision when they are called upon to vote in January’s statutory levy ballot.”
Full details of the events, including how to register, are here.