Levy board delivers major cost savings via efficiencies

The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) levy board made a £3.8m saving in support costs in the past year, according to its annual report.

Better procurement of services brought a 2011-12 saving of £424,433.

Defra formed AHDB in 2008 from five levy boards to encourage cross-sector working. Divisional teams are the Horticultural Development Company, BPEX, DairyCo, EBLEX, the HGCA and the Potato Council.

Support costs dropped 2p to 13p in every pound in 2011-12. This is down from 19p in the pound in 2009-10 and 15p in 2010-11.

AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor said: "Efficiencies continue to be achieved through improved systems and teamwork, which have seen research and development and knowledge transfer experts working together."

AHDB cross-sector project highlights include work on the Common Agricultural Policy, Catchment Sensitive Farming on nutrient management and Near Infrared Reflectance Spectometry to test nutrient content of manure. View the Water Framework Directive and water management advice, greenhouse gas action plan research and a five-year education strategy at www.foodafactoflife.org.uk.

The 2011-12 horticulture levy was £6.44m, while the overall AHDB levy was £55.35m. See www.ahdb.org.uk/publications/reports.aspx.

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