AHDB Privacy Notice

Date of last revision: 26 April 2023


This Privacy Notice describes how the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) uses and takes care of the personal information that we collect.

At AHDB we take the privacy and security of your personal information very seriously. We will never sell your information to third parties and the sensitive business information you provide will be treated as ‘commercial in confidence’ by us. We commit to protect and respect any personal information you share with us, or that we legitimately get about you from other organisations. We will be clear when we collect your information and not to do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect.


  • Scope
  • Who we are and how you can contact us
  • What we use personal information for
  • Our lawful bases for processing personal information
  • Where we collect information about you from
  • What personal information we collect
  • Sharing of your personal information to third parties
  • How we keep your personal information safe
  • How we keep your information up to date
  • How long we retain personal information
  • Your choices and your rights
  • Changes to this Privacy Notice


This Privacy Policy only applies to AHDB’s activities and its websites.

Where links are provided from our websites to third party websites or partnership websites, AHDB is not responsible for those websites and a link to them does not imply endorsement.

This Privacy Policy shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales.

 Who we are and how to contact us

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is a statutory UK levy board set-up by Parliament. We are funded through a levy paid by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. Our purpose is to equip levy payers with independent, evidence-based information and tools that help their business to grow, become more competitive and sustainable.

Established in 2008 and classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body, we support meat and livestock (cattle, sheep and pigs) in England; milk in Great Britain; and cereals and oilseeds in the UK. You can find out more about us at www.ahdb.org.uk. Our headquarters is in Warwickshire, United Kingdom.

If you have a query and you think you know the team or person you want to contact then visit our Contact us page.

Alternatively write to the Data Protection Officer (DPO), AHDB, Siskin Parkway East, Middlemarch Business Park, Coventry CV3 4PE or email data.protection@ahdb.org.uk.

The independent supervisory authority in the UK to uphold information rights is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Contact the ICO

What we use personal information for

 At AHDB we collect and use personal information for the purpose of delivering the statutory functions bestowed on us by Parliament under the AHDB Order 2008 No.576: These statutory functions are to collect levies and to use the funds to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the agriculture industries through research, knowledge exchange, skills development, production of market information and statistics, export development, and domestic market development.

If we were unable to contact and communicate with our levy payers and other industry stakeholders AHDB would be unable to fulfil its statutory functions.

We use the personal information we collect for the following:

Industry levy payers and stakeholders

  • For statutory levy collection, verification and audit purposes
  • To enable AHDB to carry out research on behalf of the industry
  • To contact our stakeholders to inform about ways in which they can engage with and benefit from research, knowledge exchange, skills development, benchmarking, statistics, and sustainability and market development activity
  • To contact our stakeholders to explain how the levy is being spent
  • To contact our stakeholders to seek feedback on AHDB and our tools and services
  • To issue disease and animal/plant health related alerts
  • To contact industry organisations to collaborate and work in partnership on projects and to keep them informed on progress with projects and innovations which affect the industry
  • We may use the information you give us along with details about the publications you order or download, your attendance at events and the products and services you use, as well as data from other appropriate third parties, to help us make our information, services and communications more relevant for you
  • To identify usage trends on our websites and social media channels in order to enhance, improve or modify our websites and to facilitate your participation in interactive features you may choose to use on our websites and social media, also to personalise your user experience by presenting content tailored to you
  • We produce aggregated and anonymised reports to enable the industry to make better trading and business planning decisions. For example market reports on planted areas; on area by variety and on average livestock prices. The aggregated information will also be used in the calculation of national production, yield and stock estimates


  • To provide health, nutrition and recipe information to you in response to your specific requests for information
  • To identify usage trends on our websites and social media channels in order to enhance, improve or modify our websites and to facilitate your participation in interactive features you may choose to use on our websites and social media, also to personalise your user experience by presenting content tailored to you

Suppliers and customers

  • For business purposes, to administer our pre-contract and contractual supplier/customer obligations

AHDB employees and potential employees

  • For recruitment purposes prior to entering into an employment contract
  • During employment for normal employment contract purposes including the provision of contracted pay and benefits, and to meet the requirement of tax and employment laws
  • For health and safety, holiday, sickness and absence records
  • To keep employees informed about what is going on in the organisation

Our lawful bases for processing personal information

‘Public Task’ – as a statutory levy board processing personal information is necessary in the exercise of the official authority vested in AHDB by Parliament to impose a levy and to deliver the functions bestowed on it by Parliament under the AHDB Order 2008 No.576. These tasks (levy collection, research, statistics, knowledge exchange, skills development, sustainability and market development) are in the public interest in order to deliver a sustainable industry and food security

‘Contract’ – where we have contractual relationships with suppliers, customers and employees processing is necessary to administer the pre-contract and contractual obligations for the performance of a contract

‘Legitimate Interest’ – where we use our employees' personal information in ways they would reasonably expect to keep them informed and to run the business

‘Legal Obligation’ – we process and share some information because it is necessary to comply with laws and regulations to do with running an organisation and employing staff, such as health and safety legislation, tax laws, and human rights and employment laws.

‘Vital Interest’ – we process some sensitive information on health and disability provided to us by employees to enable us to respond in the most appropriate way in the event of a medical emergency

‘Consent’ – the provision of information to consumers, which may include direct marketing, will be done when the data subject has consented to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes. Consent will also be used for the main subject of photography and recording (video and audio).

 Where we collect information about you from

We collect personal information in the following ways:

When you give it to us directly

You may give us your personal information in your levy return, when you:

  • Provide feedback or sign up online or offline to receive information
  • Participate in competitions
  • Register to participate in benchmarking or other services we provide
  • Apply to work for AHDB
  • Complete your employee contract pack
  • Join one of our committees, panels or boards

From third party organisations

Your information may have been shared with us by third parties. These third parties may be other public sector organisations such as the Rural Payments Agency and the Food Standards Agency, where information has been shared to help enable AHDB to fulfil our statutory functions. We may get data from third party organisations to whom you may have provided permission through your privacy settings or the responses you have given them. We will be passed personal information on potential employees or temporary staff by employment agencies. We will also purchase data from satellite and other field scanning technologies, to help combat levy avoidance and to assist with making our information, services and communications more relevant and timely.

When it is available publicly

We may supplement the information you provide with data from the public domain, such as Companies House and other public databases.

From social media

We use Meltwater for community management and depending on your settings for social media and messaging services like Facebook and Twitter, you might give us permission to access information from those accounts or services.

When you use our websites or apps

Like most websites, ours use ‘cookies’ to help us make our websites (and your user experience) better. Cookies mean that a website will remember you. They are small text files that sites transfer to your computer/tablet/smartphone and make interacting with a website faster and easier. Read our Cookie Policy.

We will also track the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; computer connection information such as browser type and version; and time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions; operating system; download history, which we sometimes aggregate with similar information from other contacts to improve the navigation and services we provide. During some visits we may use software tools such as JavaScript to measure and collect session information, including page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page.

From mobiles

On mobiles we may use location tracking to understand when and where our services are being accessed. Most mobile devices provide users with the ability to disable location services if they wish. If you have questions about how to disable your device's location services, we recommend you contact your mobile service carrier or your device manufacturer.

What personal information we collect

"Personal Information" is information that identifies you as an individual or relates to an identifiable individual. Personal Information we may collect through our levy returns, event booking and feedback forms, sign-up forms, surveys, websites, competitions, public databases and third parties includes:

  • Your title, first name, surname, business name, postal address and postcode, email address, telephone and mobile numbers
  • Your social media handles
  • Levy payer bank/direct debit details
  • Supplier bank details
  • Field locations and ownership
  • Information regarding your dealings with us including details of your attendance at events and engagement with our programmes
  • Any preference you have in relation to our publications and services
  • Any information you may voluntarily submit to us by completing any paper or web-based form or job application
  • Photographs, videos, podcasts and audio recordings
  • Details of your visits to and usage of our websites
  • Details of whether you have opened our emails, clicked on a link or watched our videos
  • Membership of panels, committees, bodies and organisations
  • In some instances we may also request date of birth and demographic information
  • As an employee we collect and process information to enable us to fulfil our contract with you and to meet legislative requirements – this includes your home address and contact details, bank account information, CV and references, driving licence and passport details, some medical information where appropriate, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, pay, sickness, next of kin

Sharing of your personal information to third parties

AHDB will never sell your personal information to third parties and we will not release your personal information to any company outside AHDB for their own mailing or marketing purposes.

We may disclose your personal information to third parties for the following reasons:

  • As part of our service delivery we contract with reputable suppliers
    • To help process requests and provide you with information. For example, sending you the latest fact sheets on research results
    • To undertake industry research, and on occasion we may ask them to contact you on our behalf with regards to participation in relevant research
    • To deliver our skills training courses and workshops
    • To help deliver some of our conferences and events, for example to facilitate online registration or payment. If it is a joint event and delegate contact information is to be made available to the other organisation you will be asked to consent to the proposed uses at the time you register for that event
    • To deliver employee services and benefits such as pensions, life insurance, occupational health scheme, vehicle leasing and insurance
    • AHDB requires all such third parties to treat your personal information as fully confidential
  • If required, for regulatory or animal/plant health purposes, we will share levy payer information with the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD), Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), Food Standards Agency (FSA), The Rural Payments Agency (RPA), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) or its equivalents in the Devolved Administrations or their appointed agents to enable them to assess risk and to contact you
  • If required as part of the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud
  • If required to respond to requests from courts or law enforcement agencies

How we keep your personal information safe

We ensure that there are appropriate and proportionate controls in place to protect your personal information. For example we use encryption, where appropriate, and we store data within AHDB’s secure network and cloud environment. Both of these are independently audited. We also limit and control who has access to the personal information we hold.

AHDB’s systems and storage are located within the UK wherever there is a choice of location that includes UK data centres. This includes our core Microsoft services (Office365); however, some Microsoft services are not available from UK locations. If location availability changes we are committed to moving all of our systems, storage and services to the UK.

Where we use third party suppliers or partners to process personal data we put a contract in place that sets out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage and securely transfer the personal information and fully comply with all applicable UK Data Protection.

Where any of our third party suppliers process information outside the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA) (e.g. in the USA), we put in place appropriate additional technical, organisational and legal measures in line with recommendations from the UK Data Protection Authority.

How we keep your information up to date

We use information you provide to us through your various interactions with AHDB to keep your personal information up to date.

We also use sources such as postcode look-up to ensure we have the correct address for you, Companies House, Mortascreen as well as information provided to us by other third party organisations to maintain and improve the information we hold.

We really appreciate it if you let us know if your contact details change by emailing us at comms@ahdb.org.uk.

How long we retain personal information

We will retain your personal information for no longer than necessary for the purpose it was obtained, unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law.

Your choices and your rights

By law you have certain rights over your personal data that we hold about you and these are summarised below. Some of the rights are complex and not all the detail is included in our summaries. Read the Individual rights guidance on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

To enquire about exercising any of these rights please contact the Data Protection Officer using the details given in the section Who we are and how to contact us.

We may need to verify your identity before implementing your request. We will try to comply with your request as soon as reasonably practicable.

Access: You (data subjects) have the right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about you – known as a Subject Access Request (SAR). Responses are usually made within 30 days, unless an extension is required.

Rectification: You have the right to ask us to correct any errors in the personal information held about you.

Objection: You have the right to make an objection (based on your specific situation) to how we are processing or profiling your personal information.

Erasure: Please note that the personal information we hold for ‘public task’ purposes is not eligible for erasure. Personal information obtained through consent is eligible, and each request we receive will be treated on a case-by-case basis. It should be noted that we will retain enough information to ensure the individual is not contacted again. On occasion, some data may also have to be retained for legal record-keeping purposes and we will always inform you when this is the case.

Withdraw consent: Where processing is based on your consent, then that consent can be withdrawn at any time. AHDB uses consent for the provision of information to consumers and for a main subject’s participation in photography and recording.

Make a complaint: You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the UK’s independent supervisory authority for upholding information rights - the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Contact the ICO.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. The effective date of this Privacy Notice, given at the beginning, indicates the last time this Notice was revised. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will communicate this to you.