Potatoes: what do I get for my levy?

Returns for your levy

Storage research and support

Investing £500,000 a year in storage research

We have invested in research to identify how best to store potatoes without CIPC, therefore protecting the 2m tonnes of potatoes that go into long term storage each year. Including:

As well as making emergency use applications for new sprout suppressants and coordinating representatives from all industry sectors to contribute to the submissions.

Who to speak to about potato storage research:

Adrian Cunnington

Head of Crop Storage Research

Or call the storage advice line on 0800 02 82 111

Book your 1:1 visit via the Storage Network on 01406 359419

Marketing and market development

Influencing 14% more consumers to think potatoes are healthy

For 14 consecutive years before the launch of our 2015 marketing campaign Potatoes: More than a bit on the side potato consumption was declining ~3% each year. Consumption increased during each of the three years of the campaign. Meanwhile:

Reaching 5 million consumers during lockdown with our potato consumer marketing campaign

Our campaign was revived this year to ensure potatoes stayed front and centre while people had more time at home. We even ran our advertising on catch-up TV for the first time, as ads played on ITV hub during Britain's got Talent and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

See the results of our potato consumer marketing campaign during the coronavirus lockdown

Reassuring young consumers that 'ordinary food is good enough'

This campaign launched in January 2020.

With so many mixed messages in the media about food, nutrition and diets, it is easy to get confused and follow guidance from unqualified sources. 

These messages are magnified through social media and can have damaging effects on our physical and mental welfare. Many of us strive to look like others or follow extreme diets which often aren’t realistic and can instead have detrimental effects on health due to a lack of key nutrients.


Educating over 5 million primary school children with Grow Your Own Potatoes

We’ve helped over 5 million children learn where their food comes from since 2005 through our Grow Your Own Potatoes project in primary schools. The seed for the project is donated by the industry, making the scheme a fantastic example of industry cooperation, as well as a success. Contact us if you'd like help getting your local schools involved.

Find out how we kept GYOP going during lockdown

Who to speak to about potato consumer marketing or education:

Rob Clayton

Strategy Director Potatoes

Working with the Governments of our top export destinations

We have worked with the governments of Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, Canary Islands and Israel our top five destinations, which account for 70% of seed export trade, to ensure these markets and customers retain confidence in UK seed post-Brexit. Last year we visited Egypt, with partners from Scottish Government and received assurances from the Egyptian Government that legislation was in place to allow the continued supply of British seed potatoes post-Brexit.

Who to speak to about export and overseas market development:

Patrick Hughes

Head of Export Trade Development - Potatoes

Helping you improve how you grow potatoes and your crop protection

Improving productivity, costs or profitability for 93% of attendees at Strategic Potato Farm and other events

We have provided over 60 regional and digital potato focussed Farm Excellence events over the last three years, where 94% of levy payers say they improved their technical knowledge and 86% picked up something to improve productivity or efficiency. Highlights include:

We have also helped growers avoid waste when switching to new programmes after losing actives by researching, modelling, costing and demonstrating the most efficient use of alternatives.

Trials and demonstrations have continued safely throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, with circa 900 attending live digital events, and a further 1,700+ views of event recordings:

Watch recordings of this summer's SPot webinars View past results and findings form SPot farms on our Farm Excellence page

£1.2m spent on crop protection research, forecasting and monitoring over the last 3 years

Whether it is blight, PCN or aphids and virus, you’ll find regular updates on pest and disease pressure through the summer supported by the latest thinking in management and control options. Including:

The fight continues, and last year we agreed to fund blight strain results in-season so that you know what you're dealing with in real-time. Our site contains weather alerts, blight monitoring and the opportunity to sign-up as a blight scout.

Agronomy Knowledge Library highlights

What we know about potato virus and how to monitor and manage aphids

Find out which are the most efficient herbicides and application methods for weed control management in potatoes

Late blight remains the single most important potato disease, costing the industry an estimated £50M annually in crop protection chemicals in a typical blight pressure season.

Our latest research on burn-off of potato crops without diquat and guides on best practice and health and safety at harvest

Who to speak to regarding Strategic Potato Farms and crop protection:

Claire Hodge

Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager (Scotland) - Arable

Graham Bannister

Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager - Potatoes
Or find your local KE Manager here

Market information and Brexit

The information you need, when you need it through accurate market statistics and analysis

During the Coronavirus pandemic we have ensured that you have the latest information as markets change rapidly. This includes:

No other provider has as robust data validation processes as AHDB to 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

Who to speak to about potato market information:

David Eudall

Head of Market Specialists (Arable)

Providing information on how Brexit could impact the potato sector

We have produced scenarios of how different Brexit outcomes could impact the potatoes sector, allowing your business to move to position itself correctly.

Our team also monitor emerging trade deals and agricultural policy to help analyse their potential impact on the potato sector.

Who to speak to regarding the impact of Brexit, trade deals and Ag Policy on the potato sector:

David Swales

Head of Strategic Insight

Supporting your business through the impact of Coronavirus on the Potato Sector

We provided evidence on the evolving coronavirus impact helped make sense of unprecedented shifts in purchasing patterns and launched a potato trade portal that saw 430 loads traded – close to £0.75M worth.

Visit our page Coronavirus: support for potato growers


Unearth your strengths. Farmbench helps you to understand and compare your full costs of production. Input either whole-farm or just your potato costs to suit your needs.

Want to know more? Speak to your local KE manager

Contact your local member of our newly expanded KE team, their contact details are below:

North West and North East

Graham Bannister

Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager - Potatoes


Claire Hodge

Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager (Scotland) - Arable

East Anglia and South East

David Wilson

Knowledge Exchange Manager - Potatoes

East Midlands

Amber Barton

Knowledge Exchange Manager - Potatoes

Wales, West Midlands and South West

Alex Wade

Knowledge Exchange Manager - Potatoes

Our strategy is set in consultation with you, through the AHDB Potatoes Board.

Need support with the planting returns portal?

We have upgraded and improved the online planting returns system. Please click on this link to access the portal: https://levyportal.ahdb.org.uk/Account/PotatoGrowerMigration

Please contact:

For Northern Scotland and the East of England - Mark Colmer mark.colmer@ahdb.org.uk   07831 319774

For Southern Scotland, Western England and Wales - David Want  david.want@ahdb.org.uk 07812 658119