The vision of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) looking, feeling and behaving like one organisation, leading the way as a world-class centre of agricultural excellence, was outlined today by the organisation’s chairman, Peter Kendall.
Addressing the Agricultural Industries Confederation conference, Mr Kendall (pictured) challenged farmers to look at the bigger, long term picture, focusing on the opportunities provided by growing markets at home and overseas.
“Let’s dare to ask how we can better compete for a share of these markets,” he told conference delegates, gathered at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, adding that while global market volatility was here to stay they should be striving to become the envy of producers in other countries.
While acknowledging UK success stories in soft fruit and in pigmeat exports, he argued that the achievements of agricultural sectors in other countries lay in collaborative supply chain working, a focus on growth and exports, good links between education, research and knowledge exchange and strong, large scale centres of excellence for agriculture. That was exactly what he wanted for AHDB, of which BPEX is part.
“AHDB has a long term ambition for its levy payers and UK agriculture,” he said. “We want to provide levy payers with the right tools to become the most efficient and sustainable businesses they can be.
“With a new chief executive and a refreshed Board in place by early 2015, I will be seeking a genuine debate about the kinds of activity AHDB should be focusing on to deliver as that centre of excellence.”
Mr Kendall also said that, having recently moved AHDB’s staff into a new, single building in Stoneleigh, the next stage on the journey to becoming one organisation was to start to consider plans for rebranding the organisation.
“Working together in one building, focused on delivering under one unified, and unifying, brand means we will be able to leverage the impressive AHDB cross sector work that is being rolled out in areas such as soils, pest research, market intelligence, red meat exports and education,” he said. “The bottom line is we’ve got to look, feel and behave like one organisation if we’re going to deliver as the UK’s centre of excellence for agriculture.”