MINISTERS in Defra and the devolved administrations, have approved AHDB’s levy increases in all four sectors it supports – pork, beef, and lamb in England, dairy in GB, and cereals and oilseeds in the UK.

The new rates will be implemented from April 2024, the levy organisation this week confirmed after securing the support of ministers and the industry.

There has been no increase to the levy rate in the beef and lamb and cereals & oilseeds sectors for more than ten years, and no change in over 20 years for dairy and pork.

Because of this, the spending power of levy funds over the past decade has been reduced by up to 40%, according to AHDB.

The organisation said this was due to inflation as well as changes to its tax status, meaning it can no longer reclaim VAT.

AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir said: “We are pleased ministers have approved the proposals, which will ensure the levy continues to support the work AHDB has committed to prioritising for farmers and processors across all the sectors we serve.

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“The new rates will allow us to enhance our key activity whether, for example, that involves growing export opportunities or exploring further marketing campaigns in the beef and lamb, dairy and pork sectors as well as increasing our research offering to cereals and oilseeds producers.

“Levy payers can be assured that our commitment to helping them navigate through an unprecedented period of change for the industry is secure and we will continue to listen to their feedback to ensure we are delivering real value for money.”

The Government has also agreed that Mr Saphir will serve a further 12 months as chair of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The extension to Mr Saphir’s appointment means he will remain in the role until March 31, 2025.