Farmers, growers, processors and industry representatives are being asked for their views from today (31 August) on the role of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
The AHDB is a UK statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. Defra has seen the UK’s departure from the EU it as an opportunity to ensure that the sectors that the AHDB covers are as competitive as possible. The review will look at the AHDB’s purpose and priorities, its strengths and where improvements need to be made.
It will be a joint 10-week exercise covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The request for views will close on 9 November and Defra will run a number of workshops over the coming weeks.
Farming minister George Eustice, said: “At a time when we are designing a new agriculture policy from first principles, now is also a good time to review the role and function of this agricultural and horticultural levy body. The AHDB collects around £60m a year in statutory levy from farmers and growers and currently uses that money for a range of purposes to support these sectors.
“This request for views is an opportunity for levy payers to have their say about the role and function of the various components of the AHDB in the future.”
Jane King, chief executive officer of the AHDB, added: “We welcome this opportunity to gain feedback from farmers and growers, and to help the industry compete in a global marketplace as the country prepares to leave the EU.
“We’d encourage views to shape where we can have the biggest impact and drive value as an independent, evidence-based organisation, which carries out marketing at home and abroad, while sharing best practice and innovation with farmers, growers and the wider industry, at this crucial time.”