Our commitment to levy payers
We’ve listened to our levy payers and recognise the importance for change. You told us, in the government-led Request for Views, there’s a need for the statutory levy. In return, we must deliver better value for money, focus on key priorities that make a positive difference to your business and help grow British agriculture and horticulture.
Time for change
The industry is about to undergo significant change, driven by a new direction in trade and agriculture policies, as well as shifting consumer demands. Your business will need to compete against the best in the world, drawing on the latest insight to improve farm performance, grow market opportunities and meet environmental goals.
To better serve you, AHDB will reform. We’re committed to ensuring our services better meet your needs.
We will continue to update the information on this page as we make progress on our commitments.
Nicholas Saphir, AHDB Chair
Our five commitments to you
||We will seek your views on a new strategy this autumn and communicate regularly on how your levy has been spent and the benefits|
||We will hold a regular ballot on the future of the levy|
Review how the levy is
calculated and collected for horticulture and potato growers
|We are working with growers and the supply chain to design a modern levy system|
Structure AHDB around the
key themes of market development and
improving farm performance
We will focus on farm performance and market development at home and overseas, driven by independent evidence
We want a governance
structure that is more representative and transparent
We are currently reviewing our board and committee set-up, with recommendations due by the end of the year
Podcast with AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir
In this episode, AHDB Chair Nicholas Saphir talks about our new pledge to levy payers.
Commitments outlined by Nicholas include a new strategy featuring key areas of farm performance and marketing – both at home and overseas – underpinned with independent evidence, improved communication, a new ballot on the levy and reviews of AHDB’s governance and levy systems.
Our five commitments in detail
1. We will seek your views on a new strategy this autumn and communicate regularly on how your levy has been spent and the benefits
A draft strategy covering the next five years will be completed during autumn 2020 and shared with levy payers for feedback on the priorities. It will be finalised by the start of 2021. We will also put in place regular communications back to levy payers on how your levy is being spent and what it delivers for you.
AHDB Expenditure and Income 2020/21:
Planned expenditure by sector 2020/21:
2. We will hold a regular ballot on the future of the levy
Defra is working with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Assembly to design a ballot process to build into the legislation under which AHDB operates during 2021.
3. We are working with growers and the supply chain to design a modern levy system
We have grower working groups assisting us to examine the issues with the horticulture and potato levy systems and agree a modern alternative. This work will be completed during 2020 and go to UK Ministers for agreement and then to be built into the legislation under which we operate. If you have any thoughts, please contact:
- Rob Clayton, AHDB Potatoes Strategy Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ruth Ashfield, AHDB Horticulture Strategy Director, email@example.com
4. We will focus on farm performance and market development at home and overseas, driven by independent evidence
We are simplifying the way we do things to focus on three key areas of farm performance and market development (marketing and export work) with evidence at the heart of everything we do.
5. We are currently reviewing our board and committee set-up, with recommendations due by the end of the year
The governance review that is underway following feedback from levy payers is making good progress. AHDB set up a Governance Review Group and employed specialist consultants Campbell Tickell to look at how the main Board, six sector boards, committees and panels operate. The Government’s Request for Views consultation on AHDB called for our governance to modernise to improve transparency, efficiency and accountability to industry.
In just a few months, an evaluation of the main board has been completed and focus groups have been held with sector board members. The Governance Review Group, led by independent board member Janet Swadling, is now exploring options for the future.
A set of proposals for a new governance structure is likely to be put before the AHDB Board for consideration at the end of November. Industry will be consulted on AHDB’s new five-year strategy, sector plans and planned changes for the organisations in early December.
Further updates will be given as this review progresses.
For more information on the government-led Request for Views, visit the following: