The AHDB board has issued a statement to clarify its position following “levy payer and industry concerns” over the organisation’s promotional work.
The statement includes an acknowledgement that the current promotional sign-off process with the Government has “not been straightforward” and that discussions are still “ongoing”.
The core of the statement is as follows: “As an AHDB board, we firmly believe that market development has a vital role to play in helping our farming and horticulture industries be competitive and sustainable.
“We are acutely aware of levy payer concerns around Government approvals for this year’s marketing and promotional campaigns and we are fully committed to getting sign off for current marketing activities outlined in the AHDB corporate plan.
“The Government’s criteria challenges us to be clear on how our marketing and promotional activity provides value for money and real outcomes for levy payers. As a board we welcome that challenge. Our CEO Jane King and her senior team have been working hard over recent weeks to put in place the robust evaluation of our campaigns to meet the criteria, achieve sign off and deliver the marketing activity.
“This sign off process has not been straightforward and has included a change of Government. Jane King has met with both Defra and the Cabinet Office and discussions are still ongoing.”
AHDB added that it hoped to be able to announce an interim chairman for the Beef & Lamb sector board “very soon”.
Headline image shows CEO, Jane King, and Chairman, Peter Kendall, during the AHDB branding launch at Cereals 2015