Following consultation in November last year, the UK Government and Devolved Governments of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have announced the end of the statutory levy for the horticulture and potato sectors in Great Britain from April 2022.
This will end the ‘one size fits all’ approach to these levies, according to a statement released by the UK Government yesterday.
According to the statement, the response to the consultation “will help deliver a reformed Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), and enhance accountability and value for money for farmers across the UK”.
Having considered the range of views, the UK Government and Devolved Governments have also announced a new regular vote for levy payers in other sectors across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be implemented from April 2022.
The Government says this is an important opportunity for levy payers to influence how their money is spent, and to ensure the organisation is focussed on delivering sectors’ priorities. Levy payers will need to register to vote with the AHDB before the 31st March.
The AHDB, an arms-length body of Defra, was established in 2008 to help farmers improve their performance and drive growth through research, knowledge exchange, improving market access and marketing activities.
In a joint statement, UK Government and Devolved Government Ministers said:
“We have committed to a reformed AHDB, one that works for all of its levy payers. This response is testament to our endeavour to deliver a more efficient organisation, and better value for money for farmers and growers across the whole of the UK.
“We trust that a reformed and more accountable AHDB will be effective in supporting the delivery of our shared ambitions for a sustainable and competitive agriculture sector, and will help farmers identify innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions, improve productivity, as well as confidence in exploring new market opportunities”.