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Pig Levy Unchanged But Cereals Levy Increases

by 5m Editor
19 November 2010, at 11:18am

UK - The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has launched a six-week consultation with industry stakeholders and trade associations on its Corporate Business Plan 2011-14. It has been recommended that the English pig levy remains unchanged.

The consultation runs from 19 November 2010 to 6 January 2011 and includes an AHDB Board recommendation to increase the AHDB levy across three industry sectors: potatoes in Great Britain; beef and lamb in England; and cereals and oilseeds in the United Kingdom.

Some of the proposed core strategies contained in the AHDB Plan include:

  • To undertake targeted R&D and efficient knowledge transfer to improve levy payer technical and business efficiency to reduce costs, increase yields, maintain/improve quality and optimise use of inputs
  • To help levy payers produce in an environmental, social and economically sustainable way focusing on water, soils, fertilisers, pesticides and waste
  • To give levy payers access to unbiased, high-quality market information
  • To help defend the industry from unjustified criticism
  • To undertake export market development to help underpin domestic prices
  • To inspire and inform consumers
  • To raise awareness of food and where it comes from among school children
  • To deliver demonstrable AHDB operational cost and efficiency improvements

The work in the Plan is funded by statutory levies (parafiscal tax) paid by farmers and growers and others in the supply chain. These levy rates must be approved annually by Defra and Devolved Administration ministers.

The AHDB Board will consider the consultation responses at its meeting on 24 January before submitting its final Corporate Business Plan, including recommended levy rates, to UK Ministers.

AHDB Chief Executive Tom Taylor said: “The decision to retain AHDB under the recent Government review of Arms Length Bodies underlines the pivotal role we perform in helping to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of levy payer businesses.

“I am delighted to say that the benefits of the establishment of AHDB are coming through and for the first time since we were formed we are now forecasting a small operational surplus at the end of 2010/11.

“Where the Board are recommending levy increases the primary driver is the need to deliver specific front-line sector activities”.

The UK cereals and oilseeds levy increase will raise an additional £1.5million which will be invested in eight strategic areas of activity, with a focus on business improvement and delivering industry priorities arising out of HGCA’s recent R&D strategy review.

It is proposed the 2011/12 levy rate be raised by 15 per cent and would be applied from July 1, 2011. On a per tonne basis this would mean a 46p rate for cereal growers, 75p for oilseed growers, 3.8p for dealers, 4.6p for feed processors and 9.5p for other processors. (Readers can find the full business case for the proposed cereals and oilseeds levy increase on the consultation area of its website at http://www.ahdb.org.uk/publications/consultation.aspx).

The levy rates for the other three AHDB sectors (milk and horticulture in Great Britain and pigs in England) are recommended to remain unchanged from the 2010/11 rates.