New AHDB plan set to freeze levy rates for another year

New AHDB plan set to freeze levy rates for another year

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is proposing to hold 2014-15 levy rates for all industry sectors at the same level as this year. It would make it the second year in a row that all levy rates have been frozen.

This is one recommendation from the Board in a draft Corporate Plan for 2014-17, launched for industry consultation on 29th November. The consultation, which will run until 16th January 2014 (5pm), is seeking stakeholder views on the Plan’s priorities and commitments.

“What with recent extreme weather conditions, featuring drought, excessive rainfall and the coldest spring in 50 years, the Board’s decision on 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.

“The chief focus of this new strategic plan is on how AHDB proposes to address key industry priorities such as the need to develop new markets – both at home and overseas; raising productivity – particularly through research and development and knowledge transfer; managing disease – protecting livestock and crops; driving up industry skills; and helping farmers and growers cope with the impact of new regulations and policies.”

The AHDB Board will consider the consultation responses at its meeting on 3rd February 2014, before submitting its final Corporate Plan to UK Ministers.

AHDB delivers a series of strategies encompassing research and development and farm-level knowledge transfer/exchange; the provision of essential market information to improve supply chain transparency and business decision making; plus marketing and trade market programmes to help stimulate demand and maintain and develop export markets.

The work to deliver the strategic plan is funded by statutory levies paid by farmers and growers and others in the supply chain. These levy rates must be approved annually by ministers.

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