Levy rates frozen for further year

Levy rates frozen for further year

An Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) proposal to freeze levy rates for the second year running has been approved by UK Ministers.

The decision to hold 2014-15 levy rates for all industry sectors at the same level as last year was one of the recommendations made by the levy board in its 2014/17 Corporate Plan. This went to a six-week stakeholder consultation before being formally agreed by Ministers in Defra, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and DARD Northern Ireland prior to last week’s meeting of the AHDB Board.

“The decision not to change levy rates reflects industry concerns caused by one of the most difficult years for farming in over a decade,” said AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor.

“It is the Board’s considered view that the forecast levy income, supplemented with reserves where necessary, will be sufficient to fund AHDB’s proposed work programmes for 2014/15,” he added.

The Corporate Plan captures AHDB’s strategic priorities and commitments for the next three years. The business plans of its six operating divisions – covering pigs (BPEX), dairy (DairyCo), beef and lamb (EBLEX), horticulture (HDC), cereals and oilseeds (HGCA) and potatoes (Potato Council) – sit behind the Corporate Plan, giving detail on what will be done to deliver the strategic priorities.

The forecast total net levy for 2014/15 amounts to just over £56m and is supplemented with grants and other income forecast to be in the region of £2.8m. The funds raised from each commodity sector are ring-fenced to ensure they are used to the benefit of the sectors from which they were raised.

The forecasted net levy income 2014/15 for pigs in England is £8.825m and £15.160m for beef and lamb.

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