AHDB Potatoes: income and expenditure


Potato income (levy and non-levy) for the financial year 2020/21 is estimated to be £6.4 million. In the context of AHDB’s total estimated income, this compares as follows:

*The majority of potatoes non-levy income is related to commercial research projects completed at Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research.


Our planned expenditure in Potatoes for this financial year (2020/21) is £6.6 million. This is slightly higher than estimated income for the 2020/21 financial year, as agreed with the AHDB Potatoes Board.


Research (28%) & Knowledge Exchange (17%)

We invest in applied research, focused on providing practical outcomes for levy payers. This includes our storage projects that have provided practical advice on how to store potatoes without CIPC.

Our research work also includes projects on soil health, nutrient management, crop protection, desiccation and more. This work leads to publications such as our RB209 Nutrient Management Guide, which is used in 76% of potato and horticulture nutrition plans.

Our Knowledge Exchange programme includes the field trials delivered via our Strategic Potato Farm Network - where 92% of levy payers who have been to events say they improved their technical knowledge and 86% say they gained something to improve productivity or efficiency.

See more detail on our storage research investment

See more detail on our agronomy research and KE investment

Market Development (10%) and Exports Development & Market Access (4%)

AHDB market development activities include both our consumer marketing and education work in schools. 

Our successful potato marketing campaigns are powered by the consumer insight funded by your levy – we are able to identify the most cost effective target audiences to maximise impact. Recent campaigns have seen gains of 12% more consumers agreeing potatoes are healthy and 17% more recognising potatoes are fat-free.

Through our continuing Grow Your Own Potatoes project in primary schools, we’ve helped over 5 million children learn where their food comes from since 2005.

We are working with the governments of Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, Canary Islands and Israel, which are our top five export markets.  Representing 70% of seed export trade, our work is to ensure these markets and customers retain confidence in UK seed post-Brexit.

See more detail on our marketing, education and export investment

Market Intelligence & Analysis (9%)

Our robust data validation processes ensure the prices we quote, via our emails and Farmers Weekly and Guardian, are representative of the market – we cover over 1.5 million tonnes of first purchase potatoes through our weekly calls. We also provide vital analysis on changes in policy, legislation and consumer behaviour.

See more detail on our markets and EU exit analysis investment

Communications & Digital (13%)

Our Communications & Digital teams work closely with colleagues across the organisations to create and deliver a wide range of tools and resources for levy payers.  This includes the face-to-face and online events like the SPot Farm meetings, publications such as Arable Focus, and websites, apps and articles to ensure that research output and knowledge is relevant and accessible.

Support (19%)

Potatoes make a proportionate contribution to AHDB’s back-office functions supporting delivery.  This includes a share of Finance, HR, Facilities and IT costs.  The cost of running the AHDB Potatoes 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.   

N.B. People costs are included in each area of spend e.g. Research, Knowledge Exchange, Market Development etc.  

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