Last chance to register for AHDB Shape the Future vote

Levy payers have until midday today to register to vote in April on how AHDB spends their money.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies has urged levy payers to register to vote on the future of the levy to ensure they have a say in how it is spent.

“If you don’t register to vote, the reality is that other people will decide, not only on what your levy is spent on but how big that levy is,” NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said.

“This vote could result in the levy being increased to cover all the things people want it to be spent on, or being reduced if people reject certain services provided.

“So, if you haven’t yet registered to vote yet, please do so now, otherwise the future of your levy will be taken out of your hands!”

Register to vote

From April 11, levy payers will get to vote on the priorities they want AHDB to focus on in the future.

  • In order to vote, levy payers must register by midday on March 31. You can find out more and register here:
  • Call 02476 016237 if you require help registering.
  • Each eligible business gets one vote per sector.

Levy payers will get to vote on AHDB’s Pork sector council’s overarching priorities for pork and its key activities. Five sector ‘needs’ will be laid out:

  •  Selling all parts of the pig for the best value.
  •  Protecting and promoting the reputation of pork and the pig industry.
  •  Work on animal health and welfare.
  •  Work on the environment.
  •  Supporting profitability of farm businesses.

There will also be a list of nine areas of work to address these priorities, including exports, domestic marketing, educating young consumers, defending pork’s reputation, animal health and welfare, environmental work, skills development and market intelligence to inform both the industry and government.

Levy payers will get to rate each priority and area of work from 1 to 5 in terms of the importance to their business. Importantly, there will also be open boxes for comments.

Levy payers will also have the opportunity to ratify the appointment of the sector council members that have joined this year.

The sector councils, which have replaced sector boards, will then propose the work that needs to be done on behalf of levy payers to the main AHDB board, which will be responsible for delivering it efficiently.

Great opportunity

AHDB pork strategy director Angela Christison stressed that the vote will not be about whether the statutory pork levy remains or goes, but the priorities the sector council focuses on in the future.

“This is not about whether a levy is collected, but what is done with it,” Mrs Christison told Pig World, pointing out that the option for a yes-no vote remains at any time, if 5% of levy payers submit requests for such a vote within a three-month period.

“This is a great opportunity to shape how AHDB uses your levy. But you need to register to vote by the end of March, so please do sign up,” she said.

Ms Christison explained that, by deciding on what activities AHDB should and should not focus on, levy payers will effectively get to propose the levy rate.

“The sector council will propose what work is commissioned by the AHDB team and what levy rate is needed to fund it, a pretty significant development, which puts the sector more in control” she said.

You can read the full Pig World interview with Angela Christison HERE

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About The Author

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.