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Government launches review of farming levy board AHDB

PUBLISHED: 10:40 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:40 31 August 2018

A combine harvester at work at Thrigby. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A combine harvester at work at Thrigby. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Farmers, food processors and industry representatives are being asked for their views on the “purpose and priorities” of the levy-funded Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Defra has launched a 10-week consultation to review the role of the AHDB, which is a UK statutory levy board, funded by growers and others in the supply chain.

Ministers said Brexit offers an opportunity to “ensure that the sectors that the AHDB covers are as competitive as possible”, and identify areas where improvements need to be made.

Farming minister George Eustice said: “At a time when we are designing a new agriculture policy from first principles, now is also a good time to review the role and function of this agricultural and horticultural levy body.

“The AHDB collects around £60m a year in statutory levy from farmers and growers and currently uses that money for a range of purposes to support these sectors. This request for views is an opportunity for levy payers to have their say about the role and function of the various components of the AHDB in the future.”

Jane King, chief executive of the AHDB, said: “We welcome this opportunity to gain feedback from farmers and growers, and to help the industry compete in a global marketplace as the country prepares to leave the EU.

“We’d encourage views to shape where we can have the biggest impact and drive value as an independent, evidence-based organisation, which carries out marketing at home and abroad, while sharing best practice and innovation with farmers, growers and the wider industry, at this crucial time.”

• Views can be submitted until November 9 at Defra’s consultation website.

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