Agricultural levies paid by farmers and growers will be frozen for the second year in a row.
Ministers across the UK have approved a proposal by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to freeze levy rates across all industry sectors in 2014/15.
Quality Meat Scotland, which collects levy money for beef, sheep and pigs slaughtered in Scotland, also confirmed its levy rates will be frozen for the year.
It is set to reveal its forecasted levy income for the year later this month.
AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor said: “The decision not to change levy rates reflects industry concerns caused by one of the most difficult years for farming in over a decade.
“It is the board’s considered view that the forecast levy income, supplemented with reserves where necessary, will be sufficient to fund AHDB’s proposed work programmes for 2014/15.”
AHDB encompasses six sector levy boards – Bpex for pigs in England, DairyCo for milk in Britain, Eblex for beef and lamb in England, HDC for horticulture in Great Britain, HGCA for cereals and oilseeds in the UK, and the Potato Council for tatties in GB.
It said the proposal to freeze rates was part of a wider three-year corporate plan to 2017, which sets out to help levypayers.
Priorities within the corporate plan include: helping farmers improve productivity, preventing and managing disease, developing export markets, helping producers adapt to changes to regulation and policy, and addressing labour market issues and skills shortages.
AHDB, which is forecast to take in levy of just over £56million this year with additional grant income of around £2.8million, says it has already met some of its priorities.
This includes opening up new export markets – this includes sending pork to Australia, seed potatoes to Vietnam and lamb to Russia – and the launch of a new AgriSkills Strategy last year to improve skills in the workforce and boost industry professionalism.
Breaking down the forecast income reveals that DairyCo is set to bring in £6.92million this year, while the HGCA will take in around £11.609million and the Potato Council around £6.202million.
Eblex is by far the biggest levy earner for AHDB with projections it will take in £15.16million from beef and lamb slaughtered in England, with Bpex set to get £8.825million from pigs slaughtered in England.