Defra seeking views on future of AHDB

Defra is seeking views on AHDB as part of a review that will consider the levy body’s role after we leave the EU.

AHDB logo  1The Request for Views, which will run for 10 weeks and is a joint exercise between governments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will seek input on AHDB’s purposes, services, levy payer representation, governance, and levy funding systems.

This will help ministers ensure that its objectives and services remain appropriate for the needs of its sectors, Defra said.

AHDB was formed 10 years ago, bringing together the six levy sectors under one umbrella.

“Since then the agriculture and horticulture industries have undergone some significant changes, and AHDB itself has become a more strategic and efficient body. Change will continue,” Defra said. “In the context of the challenges and opportunities presented by the UK’s exit from the EU, now is a good time to hear views about AHDB’s role going forward.”

An online survey is available here

Responses should be received by midnight November 9. Defra, which is keen to ‘gathers a full range of views from as many people as possible’, plans to publish a summary of responses in early 2019.

AHDB chief executive Jane King said: “This is an unprecedented time of change for our industry so this is an important opportunity to look at what AHDB does and how we deliver for the agriculture and horticulture industry.

“The request for views provides our farmers, growers and the wider industry with an important opportunity to shape what AHDB does in future to help them meet the challenges and realise the opportunities that change will bring. I would encourage all of our levy-payers to have their say and we look forward to responding to their views.

“AHDB remains totally committed to continue delivering for the industry to help ensure it is fit for the future and can flourish in a post-Brexit landscape.”

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 £60 million 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.”

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies urged members to have their say to help ensure AHDB is robust and delivers the best possible value for money after we leave the EU.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.