Shape the Future results – pork levy payers back AHDB’s promotional work

Pork levy payers have given strong backing to AHDB’s work to promote pork on the overseas and domestic markets.

The levy body has published the results of its Shape the Future vote on the priorities across its four remaining sectors. Overall, 4,478 levy payers out of 10,537 who registered (42%) had their say.

Levy payers were asked if they agreed with the proposed priorities for each sector by ranking them in terms of importance from 1 – 5. They were then asked to rank the importance of the work AHDB should do to support those areas.

Average scores range between 2.3 out of 5 and 4.8 out of 5, with only 3 average scores across 70 questions scoring below 3.

With some small exceptions in the pork results, the results were generally similar when weighted, reflecting size of business, and unweighted, one levy payer, one vote.

A total of 345 pork levy payers registered for the vote, including 15 processors/buyers. The key results for pork, which can be viewed here, included strong support for the overall priority of ‘selling every part of the pig for the best financial return at home in the UK or overseas’ and the promotional and marketing activity in the home and overseas market.

There was also good support for AHDB’s work in ‘protecting the reputation of pork and promoting its benefits to consumers’, including the We Eat Balanced campaign.

The priorities of AHDB’s work on pig health and welfare, the environment and improving profitability to remain competitive at home and overseas all scored well, although there some lower weighted scores within these categories, suggesting the big pig industry levy paying companies might have different to smaller businesses.

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Pork levy payers also endorsed the appointment of five new pork sector council members – Chris Aldersley, of Cranswick, Jodie Bolland, of Morrisons, Mark Haighton, of Pilgrim’s, producer Tim Bradshaw and Hugh Crabtree, of Farmex and the NPA’s vice-chairman.

Positive feedback

Overall, across the four sectors, AHDB said it had received ‘overwhelmingly positive feedback’ from levy payers in the Shape the Future votes.

The priorities which scored the highest include*:

  • Protecting the reputation of the beef, lamb, dairy and pork sectors, and promoting benefits to consumers (which received an average score of 4.6 from beef and lamb producers, 4.5 from the dairy sector and 4.4 from pork levy payers)
  • Supporting farmers to remain viable despite changes to farm support, profitability and productivity challenges in the cereals & oilseeds sector (with an average score of 4.4)
  • Selling every part of the pig for the best financial return at home in the UK or overseas in the pork sector (with an average score of 4.4).

With all the new and second term sector council members for each of the four sectors now ratified, receiving over 50% of votes as part of this process, councils will meet in June and again in July to consider the feedback received from levy payers and to build it into their sector plans.

AHDB’s divisional director of engagement Will Jackson said: “This is the first time we have undertaken such a campaign and to receive nearly 4,500 votes from across our four sectors shows it has been a very worthwhile exercise.

“Engagement to this degree in the industry is unprecedented. We have been encouraged by the comments and feedback received through this process which will now trigger discussions and decisions about our work.

AHDB Chief Executive Tim Rycroft added: “For the first time, thousands of levy payers have taken the opportunity to give us vital feedback about the work we should do on their behalf. This is the first step in delivering our promise to put levy payers at the heart of everything we do.”

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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.