Thousands have their say on the AHDB levy

Key vote outcomes:

– 42% of registered levy payers have had their say on the priorities for the sector and the importance of the work we should do to support these (total of 4,478 levy payers out of 10,537 registered)

-Average scores range between 2.3 out of 5 and 4.8 out of 5 (where 5 is the most important) with only 3 average scores across 70 questions scoring below 3

– Similar scores across weighted (reflecting size of business) and unweighted (one levy payer, one vote) results with some small exceptions in the pork results

– All sector council members (new members and those in their second term) are ratified by receiving over 50% of the votes

AHDB has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from levy payers in the Shape the Future votes.

Levy payers were asked if they agreed with the proposed priorities for each sector by ranking them in terms of importance from 1 – 5, where 1 is low and 5 is high. They were then asked to rank the importance of the work AHDB should do to support those areas.

The results and feedback will now be used by the sector councils to make funding decisions in the sector they represent on the work AHDB will deliver for levy payers.

With turnout at 42 per cent or 4,478 votes from 10,537 levy payers registered, the priorities which scored the highest include*:

– Protecting the reputation of the beef, lamb, dairy and pork sectors, and promoting benefits to consumers (which received an average score of 4.6 from beef and lamb producers, 4.5 from the dairy sector and 4.4 from pork levy payers)

– Supporting farmers to remain viable despite changes to farm support, profitability and productivity challenges in the cereals & oilseeds sector (with an average score of 4.4)

– Selling every part of the pig for the best financial return at home in the UK or overseas in the pork sector (with an average score of 4.4).

On the importance of the work that AHDB should do to support the priorities, highest scores included:

– Protecting and enhancing the reputation of the industry in the beef, lamb and dairy sector (with an average score of 4.5).

– Our Recommended List information for the cereals & oilseeds sector (with a score of 4.2)

– Using our pork consumer marketing campaigns to help sell every part of the pig (with an average score of 4.1).

With all the new and second term sector council members for each of the four sectors now ratified (and receiving over 50% of votes as part of this process), councils will meet in June and again in July to consider the feedback received from levy payers and to build it into their sector plans.

AHDB’s Divisional Director of Engagement Will Jackson said: “This is the first time we have undertaken such a campaign and to receive nearly 4,500 votes from across our four sectors shows it has been a very worthwhile exercise. Engagement to this degree in the industry is unprecedented. We have been encouraged by the comments and feedback received through this process which will now trigger discussions and decisions about our work.

“We are also very pleased we now have in place your sector councils who will decide on the future priorities for each sector for the next five years. They will now spend time to analyse and discuss this data in order to identify the priorities for each sector, which will be confirmed with levy payers in October.

“The 15 minutes spent voting on the priorities for each sector will make a real difference about how levy funds are invested.”

AHDB Chief Executive Tim Rycroft added: “For the first time, thousands of levy payers have taken the opportunity to give us vital feedback about the work we should do on their behalf. This is the first step in delivering our promise to put levy payers at the heart of everything we do”

“I would like to thank all the levy payers who voted, the many industry influencers and organisations who have supported Shape the Future and of course the whole AHDB team who have put their heart and soul into making this exercise work.

“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.

“I look forward to our sector councils presenting their final decisions on the work we will undertake and the priorities for the four sectors later in the year.”

The results of the Shape the Future campaign can be found here: www.ahdb.org.uk/Shape-the-Future.

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