We are focused on change
Earlier this year, AHDB outlined its Five Commitments to levy payers in response to the Request for Views published by Defra in spring 2020.
This marked the start of a programme of reform to ensure an effective and efficient organisation fit to meet evolving levy-payer needs. This programme includes:
Have your say on the work we do
We are inviting you to join an ongoing conversation with AHDB to have your say on the work we do and where your levy money is spent. You will be able to engage with us in many ways:
- A new online service for levy payers to feed back on what they want, review our performance and talk to our technical specialists
- A regular opportunity for levy payers to tell us via ballot whether the levy should continue
- Join AHDB’s new annual meeting each autumn to give us feedback and inform future activity
- Join regular sector Open Meetings
- Participate in the development of new farmer and grower user groups to shape and design future AHDB programmes
A new way of setting levy rates
In the future, we will set the levy rate for each crop and/or sector to fund the priorities you determine as levy payers. This means levy rates for each sector may go up or down accordingly.
Greater transparency in how we operate
We recognise the need to modernise our governance and processes to reduce bureaucracy, improve levy-payer engagement and to effectively deliver what is more relevant to levy-payers’ businesses. We will introduce changes to our governance structure, building on sector voices and expertise to better address sector needs.
- Involve levy payers more in setting our plans and future levy rates
- Reform governance to deliver better value for money, cost control and evaluation of performance
Following independent advice, detailed proposals are being reviewed, costed, finalised and will be published in early 2021.
We will deliver value for money and cut costs
We need to be more efficient across all parts of the organisation. Our existing services will be reviewed to see if there are other ways in which they can be delivered more efficiently and effectively. The first step will be to streamline AHDB to deliver savings in staff and support costs.
The second step will be to review our current services, tools and products to see how and where they are used by levy payers and the industry. Where uptake is low, or benefit is limited, these will be stopped. Finally, we will work with famers, growers and the supply chain to identify any new priorities that will require future funding to deliver what levy payers want.
We will hold a ballot every five years on the future of the levy
AHDB is committed to a regular ballot every five years as it continues to make the organisation accountable to its levy payers, and ensure they have a say on the future of the levy. The detail around the ballot process is currently under discussion with Defra, which is legally responsible for it.