The AHDB has started a consultation process to seek the views of levy payers and other agriculture and horticulture industry stakeholders on the priorities and commitments in the organisation’s draft sector corporate plans for 2014-17. These include the recommendation that levy rates across all six sectors should remain unchanged for the 2014/15.
The BPEX plan recommends that levy rates remain unchanged at 85p/pig slaughtered in England for producers and 20p/pig for processors for the time being. It also signals a subtle shift in focus away from research and development into marketing, with the former set to to lose two members of staff under the new plan and the latter gaining a staff member.
Developing the market for pork is one of five corporate priorities that BPEX outlines in its document. It plans to do this by: rejuventaing the image of pork; communicating the benefits of pork; encouraging exports; and enhancing traceability of pork. The targets BPEX is setting for this element of the plan include improving the age and demographic profile of pork conusmers by 10% and increasing exports by 25%.
The other priorities are: improving herd productivity and cost management (the target is to close the productivity gap between English herds and Interpig figures by 30%); preventing and managing disease (get 60% of herds actively using CCIR); help producers to understand the regulatory environment (achieve 70% positive feedback from the sector; and skills development (increase the number of farm staff taking part in continuing professional development (CPD) by 30%).
The corporate plan also reveals that BPEX is planning to run at a deficit for the next three years, totalling £212,000 in 2014/15; £166,000 in 2015/16 and £153,000 in 2016/17. However, the organisation is budgeting cash reserves of £3.67 million at the end of the current financial year, and should still have reserves of £3.14 million at the end of March 2017.
The consultation process is open for responses until 5pm on January 16, 2014. Full details can be found at: www.ahdb.org.uk/publications/consultation.aspx
BPEX’s draft business plan for 2014-17 can be downloaded from the link below.