AHDB'S CHIEF executive Jane King has announced her intention to step down after six years in the role.

With the levy-funded body's new five-year strategy and business plans nearly complete, Ms King said that it was a good time to begin to hand leadership over to someone fresh to deliver the next phase of development.

Recruitment of a new CEO will begin immediately and there will be a handover period to ensure a smooth transition. Ms King will be stepping down no later than the end of September 2021, or before if a successor can be found sooner.

In the meantime, she will work closely with the chair, Nicholas Saphir, the board and the leadership team to continue to reform AHDB in line with the commitments made to improve levy-payer engagement and value for money.

Ms King commented: “It has been a great privilege to lead an incredible team at AHDB and to work with inspirational farmers, growers and partners to deliver our programmes and services. The commitment and dedication of AHDB colleagues has been amazing.

“It’s always difficult to craft a farewell message, but I have the comfort of knowing that together we have achieved a good deal and AHDB will go from strength to strength under fresh leadership," she continued.

“The new five-year strategy will see AHDB playing a crucial role in helping to grow British agriculture and horticulture at a time of great change and opportunity.

“I would like to thank all those colleagues, stakeholders, partners, board members and levy-payers who have shown me so much support and encouragement over the last five and a half years. You’ve been awesome!”