Government response to AHDB request for views published

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Today (20 April) the government is outlining a numbers of recommendations to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) following a request for views across all of its sectors.

The AHDB was established in 2008 to help farmers improve their performance and drive growth, for instance through knowledge exchanges, improving market access and marketing activities.

Following a review into its role and function, the government has today set out a series of recommendations so the AHDB can be a modern and dynamic organisation that keeps pace with the needs of industry. For instance, to give levy payers and industry a greater say in the future direction of the AHDB, the government is recommending a ballot every five years on the future of the levy and the strategy in each sector. With the AHDB serving a number of sectors, this will ensure that the levies paid continue to provide good value for money for farmers and growers as the industry enters a time of significant change outside the EU.

The review showed strong support for structuring AHDB around two central priorities: market development and improving farm performance. This should allow an increased focus on business resilience, skills, environment, reputation and market development at home and overseas.

These priorities will be increasingly crucial to ensure British agriculture and horticulture fulfils its full potential now we have left the EU – whether opening new export markets for beef and lamb or providing technical expertise on pest management for cereals and horticulture.

The government is recommending maintaining the statutory levy, as the majority of respondents felt this should continue to support collective endeavours, such as market access, research and development and technical advice.

The option of exploring a new governance structure has also been recommended, to facilitate cross-sector working and break down communication barriers between different parts of the organisation.

The government response and recommendations are based on the evidence gathered during the request for views and act as a starting point for the AHDB to develop their policies and structures further in order to deliver the best service for its levy payers.

The full government response and the publication of the request for views can be found on GOV.UK.

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