A total of 330 pig producers and 15 pork processors/buyers have registered to vote on AHDB’s future from next week.
In total, across all four remaining AHDB sectors, 10,842 levy payers have registered to take part in the Shape the Future campaign.
This includes nearly 4,000 in the beef and lamb sector, more than 3,500 dairy farmers and more than 3,000 in the cereals and oilseeds sector, as well as the 345 pork levy payers.
While the pork figure does not appear particularly high, it does cover 74% of pig production and 93% of pigs processed in England, the highest percentages in both cases. This would appear to partly reflect the integrated nature of much of the pig sector and suggests the big integrators have signed up.
AHDB said it could not provide a figure for the total number of pork levy payers, making it difficult to gauge the proportion of independent producers that have signed up.
For comparison, by size of sector, 15% of beef farm production, 16% of sheep farm production, 27% of cereals & oilseeds production and 61% of dairy production is covered by the registrations.
Voting to start
The voting window opens on 11 April, following the completion of validation checks, and runs until May 9.
During the four-week voting window, levy payers who have registered to take part in the Beef and Lamb, Cereals and Oilseeds, Dairy and Pork sectors will be sent an email and unique link taking them to the website to have their say or a postal pack with the voting questions.
They will be asked to consider the main issues facing their sector, rating them from one to five with five being the most important, as well as scoring the areas of work delivered by AHDB. Levy payers will also be asked to ratify the new members of the four Sector Councils.
The initial results will be presented to levy payers once the voting process has been completed with the Sector Councils meeting in June and July to discuss how they should be implemented in each sector.
For more information on this process please visit www.ahdb.org.uk/Shape-the-Future.
AHDB Chief Executive Tim Rycroft said: “I am delighted that, for the first time in our history, more than 10,000 levy payers will have the chance to tell us directly how they want their levy invested.
“We have engaged through countless events, webinars and discussion groups and have used multiple communications and media channels to support this campaign.
“I would like to thank all the levy payers who have taken the time to register and urge them to make the most of this opportunity when the voting window opens next week. I’d also like to thank the many industry influencers and organisations who supported Shape the Future. Finally, I must pay tribute to all the AHDB staff who, against a backdrop of change and uncertainty, have made it their mission since December to get levy payers registered.
“Consulting levy payers – and putting their voice at the heart of what we do – was one of the promises about changing AHDB that we made a year ago. Now we are delivering.”