AHDB Dairy: income and expenditure

Details about how much dairy levy is collected and an overview of the key areas where it is invested.


Dairy income (levy and non-levy) for the financial year 2020/21 was estimated to be £9.2 million. In the context of AHDB’s total estimated income, this compares as follows:


As well as direct levy income, we receive external funding to help deliver several programmes and campaigns, which include:

  • Welsh Government and The Betty Lawes Foundation contribution towards our strategic dairy farm programme
  • Funding from Welsh Government for our HerdAdvance programme in Wales
  • Contributions for the delivery of our dairy genetic evaluation services to Northern Ireland and Channel Islands, and payments from breeding companies for our genomic evaluation service.


Our planned expenditure in Dairy for this financial year (2020/21) is £10.2 million.


Research (21%)

We invest in applied research, focused on providing practical outcomes for levy payers. This includes our work on genetics and genomics which is used to inform 95% of dairy semen purchased in GB.

Our work also includes The Dairy Research Partnership, Healthy Feet Programme, Mastitis Control PlanBVDFree and provides guidance directly to levy payers on a range of technical topics.

Knowledge Exchange (28%)

Our Knowledge Exchange team are a levy payers first point of contact for support and enquiries, helping put technical expertise and guidance directly into farmers hands. The team create and deliver technical events, facilitating farmer to farmer learning through regional farm meetings, workshops, and digital webinars. They also facilitate our strategic dairy farm programme and regional discussion groups.

Market Development/ Marketing (11%)

Our market development work includes consumer promotion and education

Our successful dairy marketing campaigns are informed by the consumer insight funded by your levy, which identify the most cost-effective target audiences to maximise impact. Our recent Milk Your Moments campaign drove an estimated 11.2 million litres of additional liquid milk sales and 15% of the target audience are less likely to switch to dairy alternatives.

Our partnership with the British Nutrition Foundation delivers Food – a fact of life, an online resource and training programme for teachers, and in 2020 459,609 educators downloaded nearly 1.4 million free resources and recipes from the website to increase children’s understanding of where and how their food is grown, reared and produced.

Exports Development & Market Access (4%)

Our team provide specialist support and advice to over 30 companies responsible for £1.7 billion of Dairy exports in 2019. This includes our large cheesemaking industry, which accounts for £705 million of total dairy exports.

We attend international tradeshows to help showcase the UK’s high-quality produce to key participants in international markets. And we invest in Inward and outward Trade missions to showcase high Quality British production to the world and bring exporters and importers together.

Market Intelligence & Analysis (7%)

We provide farmers with the latest analysis, prices, consumer trends and market outlook to inform business decisions. Marketing campaigns are shaped by our consumer insight and our analysis was used by Government to develop support during Covid.

Communications & Digital (13%)

Our Communications & Digital teams highlight products and services to levy payers, making them easily accessible and available. This includes face-to-face and online events like the Strategic Dairy Farm meetings, technical publications, websites, video, social media, articles and newsletters.

Support (13%)

Dairy make a proportionate contribution to AHDB’s back-office functions supporting delivery, which includes Finance, HR, Facilities, IT costs and our offices across GB.  The cost of running the AHDB Dairy Board and sector-specific function are also included.

As outlined in the new AHDB strategy, we are committed to be more efficient across all part of the organisation.  The first step will be to streamline AHDB to deliver savings in staff and support costs.   

Livestock Information Programme (3%)

An AHDB led partnership between Government and industry that will design and implement a new multi-species Livestock Information service.  This new service will replace the existing ageing statutory livestock traceability service BCMS. Added value projects like The Medicine Hub for cattle are also included in this figure.

Dairy: what do I get for my levy?