Levy rates applied to farmers, growers and others in the supply chain by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) for next financial year – from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 – have been approved by UK Ministers.
The GB Horticulture levy rate is to decrease by 10 per cent. For the majority of horticulture growers, this takes their levy down from 0.5% to 0.45% of business turnover from 1 April 2020. For mushroom growers, it takes their levy down from 8.0 to 7.2 pence per litre for agaricus spawn and 2.0 to 1.8 pence per litre for non-agaricus spawn.
Levy rates in the other five sectors covered by AHDB (Beef and Lamb in England; Pigs in England; Cereals and Oilseeds in the UK; Potatoes in GB; and Milk in GB) remain unchanged from the 2019/20 rates (see table attached).
The GB horticulture industry is changing and as it does, AHDB’s work for the horticulture sector is becoming more focused. The sector is also under sustained financial pressure and the scale of levy is a big bill for a lot of growers. Therefore, the AHDB Board recommended lowering the rate to Ministers. This follows initial work by a horticulture levy working group, made up from AHDB staff and a cross-section of growers, that has been reviewing the horticulture levy rate and the levy calculation mechanism within the Statutory Instrument to make it fairer, simpler and more proportionate for growers. The estimated financial impact of this reduction to AHDB horticulture is approximately £800,000.
AHDB Chief Executive Jane King said:
“This is a significant time of change for UK agriculture. Driving transformational improvements for the industry remains at the heart of what we do with our farmers, growers and processors.
“I am confident that the agreed levy rates are appropriate for the next twelve months and the 10% reduction in the horticulture levy rate is achievable, prudent and responsive to the sector’s situation”.