Levy Board UK – the body that will next year replace the five existing levy boards – has put out a call for “top-quality individuals” to apply for positions on the boards of the new sector companies.

As from 1 April 2008, six companies will be established for beef and lamb, cereals and oilseeds, horticulture, milk, pigs and potatoes.

Chairmen have already been announced and adverts have now been placed looking for farmers and other industry representatives to form the boards of each company.

“The whole process won’t work unless we get really good people on the boards – people who understand the sectors and the wider challenges affecting them,” Levy Board UK chairman designate John Bridge told Farmers Weekly.

“We need people who can manage the transition to the new structure and develop programmes that will support levy payers going forward.”

The two big issues, according to Mr Bridge, were improving competitiveness and creating product differentiation.

“Each sector needs to understand its cost structures, understand the demands of the market for its products and understand where opportunities exist to add value. That may be about local sourcing, quality assurance branding or product distinctiveness.”

While each sector company has a slightly different requirement, Mr Bridge said that most were looking for about 15 board members.

Some would be farmers, some would be non-farmers – but it was important that one or two were totally independent, with no vested interest in the sector concerned.

Sector company board members would be expected to work about two days a month and would be paid £250 a day. The application period closes on 21 May.

To contact the appointment commission call 0870 240 3802 and quote ref DEF 7039.