New AHDB report confirms savings and export development

New AHDB report confirms savings and export development

The latest Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Annual Report and Accounts (2012/13), highlights its work in developing export markets, as well as savings made on its own operational costs. In the year up to March 2013, AHDB, which is the umbrella organisation for both EBLEX and BPEX, spent nearly £2.9 million more on direct levy payer activities than it spent the previous year, with 87.5p in every pound of its £64.5 million total income invested in front-line levy payer support.

AHDB also confirmed annual savings of around £3.8 million on operational support costs compared to the costs of running the former levy bodies, which included the MLC.

“Our cross-sector commitment to industry innovation was firmly demonstrated by the fact £22.1 million, more than one third of AHDB’s income, was invested in research and putting associated on-farm science into practice, in 2012/13,” said AHDB Chief Executive Tom Taylor. “This included 39 joint-sector-funded R&D projects, valued at £15 million, which brought shared sector benefits at reduced cost.

“Through our £4.4 million programme of targeted export development work, AHDB played a key role in helping UK agri-businesses secure greater rewards overseas – international trade was valued at more than £5.5 billion in 2012 for beef, lamb, pigmeat, potatoes and cereals; this represents around 46% of total UK food and drink exports,” added Tom Taylor.

Meanwhile, the horse meat scandal of early-2013 presented an opportunity to communicate positive messages about quality assured meat from Britain. AHDB state that this encouraged an upturn in the number of people buying fresh, assured meat.

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