Farming Minister announces review of AHDB levy group to examine how it can best support farmers

Farming Minister George Eustice is encouraging farmers to submit their views on the role of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board as part of a review into its functions. Picture Tony Johnson.
Farming Minister George Eustice is encouraging farmers to submit their views on the role of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board as part of a review into its functions. Picture Tony Johnson.
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The role of a farmer-funded levy board is being scrutinised to ensure it is best equipped to help British agriculture compete in a global marketplace as the country leaves the European Union.

Farmers, growers, processors and industry representatives are all being asked to offer their views during a 10-week review on the role of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The AHDB is a statutory UK levy board that collects around £60m a year from farmers, growers and others in the supply chain in order to provide support to the industry. The organisation is being reviewed to examine its purpose, priorities, strengths and where improvements need to be made, the Government said.

Views are being sought until November 9.

Announcing the process, Farming Minister George Eustice said: “At a time when we are designing a new agriculture policy from first principles, now is also a good time to review the role and function of this agricultural and horticultural levy body.

“This request for views is an opportunity for levy payers to have their say about the role and function of the various components of the AHDB in the future.”

Jane King, the AHDB’s chief executive, said: “We welcome this opportunity to gain feedback from farmers and growers, and to help the industry compete in a global marketplace as the country prepares to leave the EU.”

She explained that she encouraged views to shape where AHDB can have the biggest impact and drive value as an independent, evidence-based body responsible for marketing at home and abroad, and sharing best practice and innovation with the industry at what is a crucial time.