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British potato producers’ levies to cover costs of winding-down of potato sector

According to a report by Nancy Nicolson, published by The Courier today, potato growers in Britain will be sent bills this week calling for the payment of the full AHDB levy of £42.62 per hectare  – despite the levy board being largely wound down.

Nicolson reports that the AHDB is mailing invoices along with an accompanying letter detailing why the bills need to be paid and asking for “immediate settlement”, but growers will not be keen to stump up tens of thousands of pounds in many cases to receive nothing in return.

According to the report. the AHDB says the funds from growers, together with sector reserves, will be used to cover the costs of winding-down all levy-payer activity in the potato sector.

This includes seeing out contractual liabilities including research programmes (£4 million),  potato storage programmes (£0.6 million), covering the costs of lease commitments and staff redundancies, (excluding Sutton Bridge potato storage facility) (£1.7 million) and covering the costs and asset write-downs of closing Sutton Bridge including staff redundancies and after site sale proceeds (£1.1 million).

The Sutton Bridge facility is expected to go on the open market shortly and the scientific equipment and potato processing/handling equipment on site will also be offered for sale.

Source: The Courier. Read the full story here
Photo: AHDB

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