Delivering on Beef & Lamb levy investment

Last year, levy payers shared their views as part of our Shape the Future process to influence what priority areas the levy should be invested in. The clear message was exports, more consumer-based marketing campaigns and using insight and evidence to underpin all our reputation work were most important.

Since then, AHDB's Beef & Lamb Sector Council has ensured that those areas have been the focus of our delivery for the sector.


About 35% of the Beef & Lamb levy is currently invested in exports. Here are four reasons why it is so important:

  • A total of £8m of levy money is invested annually to facilitate trade and grow Britain's reputation as a producer of quality, safe and wholesome food. AHDB exports delivered an £11.90 return for every £1 invested
  • Exports of British products add value to the UK sectors. which in turn benefits all levy payers, even those who do not export directly - the extra demand from overseas sales protects prices from the impact of an oversupplied domestic marketplace and balances the carcase
  • Export values of beef were £640m from 80 markets in 2022 and the values for lamb were £503m from 49 markets. There is a huge amount of potential here, so we are working with industry and government to open more markets
  • We promote levy payers' products at international trade shows all over the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and the USA - beef farmer James Herrick joined us in Germany at Anuga, one of the world's biggest food shows and documented it all on his YouTube

Export provides an opportunity to balance domestic cut preference by selling those products that have little value in the UK.

The sector council would like to increase the levy and fund more of this work.

The AHDB stand at Anuga 2023


Our industry-recognised We Eat Balanced marketing campaign reached 43 million adults last year, with 90% agreeing that red meat and dairy can form part of a nutritious diet.

Earlier this year, we transformed former England footballer Anita Asante into a lioness during the Women's Football World Cup to promote the benefits of a balanced diet, including red meat, to teenage girls.

The sector council want to increase the levy so we can do more targeted activity (including towards younger consumers who are more likely to question eating meat), run more marketing campaigns and maintain the momentum on shifting consumers' attitudes to red meat.


We tackle reputational issues across the industry by stressing the benefits of eating red meat and developing a roadmap for a sustainable future to demonstrate the value farmers give to the wider environment.

We've challenged misinformation from several sources, including the BBC, Oxford University and The Lancet report.

If a levy increase is supported, we can continue to swiftly react and challenge misinformation.


More students than ever have accessed the AHDB-funded food and farming resources on Food - A Fact of Life.

We have doubled our spend on education work that champions red meat by getting more children on farm, bringing beef and lamb ingredients into classroom cooking and offering over 2,000 free educational resources to teachers.

A levy increase will help us to reach and inform more consumers of the future.