Our commitment to levy payers

We’re listening

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

You said:

AHDB will:


We want a greater say on
how the levy is invested and better value for money 

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 want a vote on whether the levy should continue

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.

News: AHDB pledges to reform

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:


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:

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

We have set up a small team of Board Members tasked to put forward proposals to reform the AHDB board and committee set-up to ensure we are fit for purpose, accountable, inclusive, transparent, efficient, provide value for money and encourage levy payer engagement. The group aims to report to the board within the next four months.

More information

You can learn more about the work we currently do for levy payers by visiting the following:

Marketing Exports Farm Excellence Market information

For more information on the government-led Request for Views, visit the following: 

Government response to AHDB request for views
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