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Scottish potato growers quizzed ahead of levy body AHDB wind down

Scottish potato growers are being asked to share their views on the industry’s levy body – the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) – before it winds down its operations. Farming union NFU Scotland (NFUS) and the Scottish Society of Crop Research (SSCR) have launched a survey asking growers to identify the most valued functions of AHDB.

It follows a ballot on the future of a statutory levy for the potato sector, collected by AHDB, where 66.4% of potato businesses voted to stop their levy. A similar ballot was held for the horticulture sector, with 61% of horticulture growers voting to end their levy too, and AHDB plans to axe up to 140 jobs as it winds down its potato and horticulture operations.

NFUS said SSCR said the results from a survey of growers will not be used to resurrect a different version of AHDB, but instead inform discussions with government and industry about what happens after AHDB has wound down.

“Now that we have the results of the ballot and growers have voted no, we need to look forward to the future to protect, maintain and improve our brilliant potato industry without the AHDB having a role in that,” said NFUS potatoes working group chairman, Mike Wilson. “There are a few key issues that our industry requires in an ever-challenging growing environment for both seed and ware potatoes – primarily information on plant and soil health, chemical authorisations and general marketing.”

Source: The Press and Journal. Full article here

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