Redistribution of red meat levy agreed by three nations
The redistribution of red meat levies to take account of cross-border livestock movements between England, Wales and Scotland has been agreed by all three nations and will be implemented on 1st April 2021.
The three levy bodies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Meat Promotion Wales/Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), have worked together to develop individual calculations for the cross-border movement to slaughter of cattle, sheep and pigs.
It will aim to address the imbalance in the current system where levy is collected in the country of slaughter without taking into account the country where the animal spent a significant part of its life. It only applies to the proportion of levy collected from farmers and is to come into effect at the start of the 2021/2022 financial year.
AHDB chief strategy officer, Will Jackson, said: “We are pleased that all three nations have agreed the changes to levy distribution and we are excited about this new way of working.
“It’s been a long journey to achieve clearer accountability and transparency in the way the red meat producer levy is distributed, and to fairly reflect the devolved nature of agriculture.”
“And whilst we welcome the reformed levy distribution mechanism, we are committed to continuing our collaborative approach to working and hope to build on the success of the last few years, which includes our jointly-run marketing campaigns and promotional activities overseas, all of which brings huge benefits to our levy payers.”
Chief executive of QMS, Alan Clarke, added: “Behind the positive outcome of the levy repatriation agreement, there are a number of people who we must recognise for their hard work behind the scenes to make this happen.
“We are grateful for the tremendous effort made by Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing who has been at the coal-face advocating for the scheme, which was drafted by Scottish Government officials, on behalf of QMS, HCC and AHDB.”
Gwyn Howells, chief executive of HCC, commented: “Since the issue was first raised by HCC as part of the Radcliffe Review in 2005, it’s been a long journey to achieve clearer accountability and transparency in the way the red meat producer levy is distributed, and to fairly reflect the devolved nature of agriculture.
“This change will help HCC provide best value for the levy contributed by farmers in Wales and place us in a stronger position to promote our iconic Welsh brands and deliver for our industry.”