More than 10,000 levy payers sign up for AHDB’s Shape the Future

AHDB can confirm a total of 10,842 levy payers have registered to take part in the Shape the Future campaign.

With the voting window opening on 11 April, following the completion of validation checks, levy payers who have registered will be asked to consider the main issues facing their sector, rating them from one to five with five being the most important, as well as scoring the areas of work delivered by AHDB.

Levy payers will also be asked to ratify the new members of the four Sector Councils.

AHDB Chief Executive Tim Rycroft said: “I am delighted that, for the first time in our history, more than 10,000 levy payers will have the chance to tell us directly how they want their levy invested.

“We have engaged through countless events, webinars and discussion groups and have used multiple communications and media channels to support this campaign.

“I would like to thank all the levy payers who have taken the time to register and urge them to make the most of this opportunity when the voting window opens next week. I’d also like to thank the many industry influencers and organisations who supported Shape the Future. Finally, I must pay tribute to all the AHDB staff who, against a backdrop of change and uncertainty, have made it their mission since December to get levy payers registered.

“Consulting levy payers – and putting their voice at the heart of what we do – was one of the promises about changing AHDB that we made a year ago. Now we are delivering.”

During the four-week voting window (11 April – 9 May) levy payers who have registered to take part in the Beef and Lamb, Cereals and Oilseeds, Dairy and Pork sectors will be sent an email and unique link taking them to the website to have their say or a postal pack with the voting questions.

The initial results will be presented to levy payers once the voting process has been completed with the Sector Councils meeting in June and July to discuss how they should be implemented in each sector.

For more information on this process please visit www.ahdb.org.uk/Shape-the-Future.

Campaign facts for editors:

With a total of 10,842 registrations (subject to final validation) following a 17-week campaign the cost of this process was around £120,000 in total (c.0.3% of annual levy spend) or about £30,000 per sector.

Key activity included:

– Around 20,000 visits to the Shape the Future pages on the AHDB website.

– Estimated press reach of 17.2 million including 42 editorial mentions and key articles in publications, including Farmers Weekly, Farmers Guardian and The Grocer.

– Six interviews in popular agriculture focused podcasts with CEO Tim Rycroft as well as an interview about the campaign on BBC Farming Today.

– Paid for advertising campaign in Farmers Weekly, Farmers Guardian as well as regional and sector-based titles.

– Shape the Future messaging at 131 events including webinars, Monitor Farm meetings, Beef and

– Lamb market events and conferences.

-A first direct mail delivered to around 48,000 levy payers by letter.

-Facebook Live Q&A and new Instagram account for the Beef and Lamb sector.

-Packs issued to stakeholders in all four sectors explaining the details of the campaign.

-Multiple discussion forums, industry group meetings and levy payer conversations.

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