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UK: Argument is boiling up ahead of AHDB potato levy vote

Potato growers and traders in Britain will get the chance next month to vote for or against continuing to pay a statutory levy to AHDB for the tattie sector, reports Colin Ley for The Press and Journal.

The vote on the continuation of the collection of a potato sector levy by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) comes in the midst of a fiercely argued debate between those who think the levy is a waste of money and others who say it pays for the technology future on which the sector is based.

Leading anti-levy campaigner John Bratley, farming in Lincolnshire, believes just about everything AHDB Potatoes does is “already out there”, being freely available on the world scene, courtesy of commercial companies. He also argues AHDB’s overheads are “10 times too much”.

AHDB chairman Nicholas Saphir disagrees, arguing commercial businesses don’t supply farmers in any sector with advice and information unless it is “very commercially attractive” for them to do so.

From February 17, growers and traders will have four weeks to vote in a national ballot on the levy question, instigated in response to a request for a vote from 176 UK levy-paying potato growing or buying businesses.

Source: The Press and Journal. Read the full article here
Photo: Courtesy Gary Naylor

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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