Special reports



    The UK undoubtedly has some of the most productive, dynamic and inspirational farming and growing businesses in the world. Yet, as a whole, our industry’s rate of productivity has grown more slowly than some of our major competitors. It has now become one of the biggest challenges of our age.

    AHDB is calling upon the industry to unite and mobilise to address the productivity challenge. In our latest Horizon report, we set out a five-point action plan, which has at its core increased industry collaboration and partnership to drive lasting change. Read the full report

  • AHDB is a member of Amaeth Cymru: Agriculture Wales. This is an industry-led group, with Welsh Government as an equal partner, established on 25 September 2015. Through joint working, Amaeth Cymru seeks to provide strong, collective leadership to move the industry forward and realise our shared vision for Welsh Agriculture to 2030. This ambition was published as The future of agriculture in Wales: the way forward” in November 2017.


  • ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS - collation impacts across all sectors to give clear messages on impacts of changing availability on farmers and production - December 2014

    Under the revision of the pesticide approvals legislation and the implementation of European Union Plant Protection Products (PPP) Regulation (1107/2009) there has been a move from a risk to hazard based assessment criteria for the approvals of pesticide active substances. As part of this move it was identified that endocrine disrupting active substances should be classified as a hazard. However, the definition of endocrine disruptor (ED) has been hard to develop. It is currently anticipated that a number of important agricultural pesticide active substances could be defined as endocrine disruptors.

    This report sets out the potential economic impacts of yield loss for the withdrawal of active substances on 51 horticultural, arable and forestry crops based on information available at September 2014. The impacts are calculated for three cumulative scenarios:

    Scenario 1: Active substances most likely to be lost- 10 fungicides, 3 herbicides and 4 insecticides

    Scenario 2: Scenario 1, plus active substances less likely to be lost unless a strict definition is taken ? an additional 11 fungicides, 7 herbicides and 2 insecticides

    Scenario 3: Scenario 2, plus active substances for which there is insufficient information available to determine whether they will be classified as endocrine disruptors ? an additional 10 fungicides, 11 herbicides (including one used as a sprout suppressant) and 8 insecticides

    The categorisation of actives substances was based on WRC (2013) and information provided by European Crop Protection Association.

    The impact of the loss of active substances is calculated from the farmgate value of any yield loss. Yield impacts were provided by industry experts selected by AHDB and validated by ADAS. The yield impacts focused on the production year following the loss of active substances, and therefore do not account for longer term issues such as resistance, but these are highlighted where relevant. It was assumed that all active substances in a scenario were lost at the same time and that mitigating actions, such as alternative chemistry, would be used where available, although any change in cost was not included. Farmgate values were based on yield and market values from John Nix1 2010-2013 and/or industry experts based on 2013 data unless otherwise stated.


  • CAP REFORM ANALYSIS PAPER (pdf 436Kb) - October 2013

Appendix - CAP Reform Analysis Paper (pdf 256Kb)

  • In this AHDB CAP Reform analysis we have modelled the impact of the different CAP implementation options being talked about within the EU Member States. It highlights the possibility for distortion of competition across the EU and even within the UK itself.

    Clearly, there is still uncertainty in terms of how individual countries will choose to implement CAP. As such, our approach has been to look at a variety of different scenarios of what may happen. The data is presented in the format of how much subsidy per unit of output e.g. pence per kg of finished beef animal, or £/tonne of wheat, and the percentage of the market price this represents. This allows clear identification of how big the potential difference is in support across different scenarios and how important that difference is i.e. a large difference in support where support is a large percentage of the return to the farmer is potentially much more distortive of competition than where there is a large difference in support, but where the market price forms most of the return to the farmer.

    In doing this work we have inevitably had to make assumptions. Therefore the report does not attempt to provide definitive answers but rather to identify the potential scale of difference in outcomes that could occur.


  • The European Parliament, Commission and Council reached a political agreement on CAP reform on 26 June. †Full details of the deal are yet to emerge on all points, and some elements remain to be agreed. Key aspects of the deal include that 30% of direct payments will be conditional on farmers undertaking greening measures. These include crop diversification measures, permanent pasture maintenance and leaving an ecological focus area of (initially) 5% for farms with at least 15ha of arable land. Farmers who do not comply with these will lose their greening payments and (from 2018) face further sanctions. Some farmers (including organic farmers and those in agri-environmental or similar schemes) will be exempt as they are considered to be delivering ‘greening equivalency’.

    In addition, there will be a gradual convergence in the level of payments across and within member states. However, member states will be able to continue to couple some payments (8%-13%). In the past this has given a competitive advantage to beef and sheep producers in regions which provide these payments (such as France, Spain) over those that do not ? including England. There are still some points outstanding relating to the EU budget (the Multi-annual Financial Framework). These include the rate of convergence of payments between member states, capping of payments for large farms and the movement of money between the pillars of the CAP. AHDB have released a briefing note on CAP which can be accessed here.


  • As pressure increases on the Government’s research spend, the need for greater co-ordination and collaboration is essential. This is the clear message that AHDB's Impact on horticulture through collaboration report presents. It highlights some of the many projects delivered through Defra’s Horticulture LINK project, illustrating the tremendous value of collaborative approaches to research and development. While no new work is being commissioned through the Horticulture LINK programme, AHDB is still involved in many of the remaining projects due to run until early 2015. Impact on horticulture through collaboration reviews the wealth of collaborative work completed over the course of the last 15 years and the ways in which it is delivering real benefit to growers.

  • CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTATOES - The risks, impacts and opportunities for UK potato production. September 2011 (pdf 3.25Mb)
  • Climate change will influence the way potato crops develop, grow and yield. It will also impact on the viability of rain fed potato production and demand for supplemental irrigation. In GB, there will be many implications of climate change for the potato industry, including the possibility that warmer springs will result in earlier plantings with consequent impacts on canopy management, as well as changes in crop husbandry and the potential for higher yields. The areas suitable for new potato plantings may also increase, due to changing local soil and agroclimate conditions. However, a reduction in the availability and reliability of water supplies may lead to a shift in cropping to parts of the country where there is less reliance on supplemental irrigation. But equally, there may be areas (and cultivars) where irrigation is not currently required, which may require irrigation.

  • FEEDING BRITAIN - What Consumers Want. 13 July 2010 (pdf 942Kb)
  • AHDB has supported The Smith Institute in writing some chapters for this follow-up publication examining the demand side of the food industry and on some of the more social and consumer aspects of food. In this publication, we have helped to explore some of the issues around consumer behaviour and the role of food. We examine what we mean when we talk of a healthy sustainable diet and the implications that this has for both consumers and producers. In particular, the contributors explore the relationship between health, affordability and sustainability.


  • AGRISKILLS STRATEGY - 10 February 2010 (pdf 500Kb)
  • AHDB has joined with other industry leaders in supporting a major new skills strategy aimed at equipping farmers and growers with the right skills for the 21st century. The AgriSkills Strategy seeks to ensure that industries that lie at the heart of the UK’s agriculture and horticulture production deliver a skilled workforce capable of delivering increased food production and tackling environmental challenges.