AHDB continues horticulture levy freeze

Defra has approved an Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) proposal to freeze levy rates for the second year running.

The levy board recommended the freeze in its 2014/17 corporate plan. 

Defra, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and DARD Northern Ireland have agreed to the move after a six-week stakeholder consultation.
 
AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor said: "The decision not to change levy rates reflects industry concerns caused by one of the most difficult years for farming in over a decade.
 
"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.
 
Corporate Plan strategic priorities are to help levy payers:

  • Improve productivity and cost management (resource management, climate change, soils and water, managing market volatility)
  • Prevent and manage disease
  • Deliver market development (export development, promoting quality products to differentiate against imports, market information and analysis)
  • Understand and adapt to the regulatory and policy environment
  • Address labour market issues and skills development.

The forecast total net levy for 2014/15 for all sectors including horticulture is £56m and is supplemented with grants and other income forecast to be about £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:
 
Industry sector forecast net levy income 2014/15
Pigs in England
£8.825m
Beef & Lamb in England
£15.160m
Milk in Great Britain
£6.920m
Horticulture in Great Britain
£7.850m
Cereals and Oilseeds in UK
£11.609m
Potatoes in Great Britain
£6.202m
Grants and other income
£2.839m
Total net income
£59.405m


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