Coins and notes© Universal Images Group/REX

Levy board rates for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) will remain the same for 2015-16.

This will be the third year in a row that rates have not increased. AHDB’s board had recommended the Potato Council’s levy be increased, but subsequently decided against a rise.  

See also: Welsh government calls for views on revised BPS plan

The total levy for 2015-16 is forecast at about £57.3m and will be supplemented with grants and commercial income forecast to be about £8.3m.

AHDB is funded by statutory levies paid by farmers and growers and others in the supply chain. Levy rates are approved annually by ministers.

The levy board’s purpose is to make agriculture and horticulture industries more competitive and sustainable. Following a six-week consultation it has set out five priorities for the coming year to help levy payers:

  1. Improve productivity and cost management (resource management, climate change, soils and water, managing market volatility)
  2. Prevent and manage disease
  3. Deliver market development (export development, promoting quality products to differentiate against imports, market information and analysis)
  4. Understand and adapt to the regulatory and policy environment
  5. Address labour market issues and skills development.

Funds are raised from six commodity sectors and are ring-fenced for that sector. The 2015-16 levy payments are forecast to bring in:

Funding source/ industry

Forecast net levy income 2015-16

Pigs in England

£9.020m

Beef & lamb in England

£15.573m

Milk in Great Britain

£6.990m

Horticulture in Great Britain

£7.726m

Cereals and oilseeds in UK

£11.953m

Potatoes in Great Britain

£5.935m

Non-levy income (grants and commercial)

£8.343m

Total net income

£65.540m

Producer/grower levy rates for 2015-16

England

Pigs (England)

85p a head

Cattle

£4.05 a head

Calve

8p a head

Sheep

60p a head

Great Britain

Milk

0.06p/litre

Potatoes

£42.62/ha

United Kingdom

Cereals grower

46p/t

Oilseeds

75p/t