Introduction to AHDB
Serving the levy payer
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain and managed as an independent organisation (independent of both commercial industry and of Government).
Our purpose is to make our agriculture and horticulture industries more competitive and sustainable through factual, evidence-based advice, information and activity.
What we do
We deliver extensive research and development programmes which are delivering scientifically-robust and commercially useful outcomes for our levy payers;
- We undertake efficient farm-level knowledge transfer programmes based on evidence both from third party science and our own R&D aimed at improving efficiency, productivity and sustainability;
- We provide unbiased, high quality market information that helps business decision making and improves supply chain transparency;
- We do export market development work and also domestic marketing activity to inspire and inform consumers in order to assist the economic viability of sectors which require this;
- We raise awareness of food and where it comes from among school children; and help ensure the agriculture and horticulture industries are able to develop and attract workers with the skills needed to operate effectively.
- We also ensure that proper account is taken of Government priorities for agriculture and the agri-food industry, where appropriate.
Who we work for
Levy payers are at the heart of what we do. Our delivery of support services to them is focused through six branded operating divisions covering about 75% of total agricultural output in the United Kingdom (UK):
AHDB also ensures that proper account is taken of Government priorities for agriculture and the agri-food industry, where appropriate.
To make our industries more competitive and sustainable
Our Corporate Objectives:
- Deliver value for money for levy payers in everything we do
- Improve efficiency and productivity in the industry to help levy payers have thriving businesses
- Improve marketing in the industry to help profitability and customer awareness
- Improve services that the industry provides to the community
- Improve ways in which the industry contributes to sustainable development.
How we are funded:
The work of AHDB is funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain through statutory levies – not from central Government. The funds raised from each commodity sector are ring-fenced to ensure they are used only to the benefit of the sector from which they were raised.
Each year AHDB publishes a rolling three year Corporate Plan. It includes the strategies, activity plans, and targets proposed by our six sector boards and also the levy rates required to deliver these plans.
Our philosophy is that levy payers are at the heart of what we do. In order to deliver genuine levy payer focus there is a sector advisory committee (known as ‘sector board’) for each of the six commodity sectors represented by AHDB. Each sector board comprises levy payers, other stakeholders from the sector and independent members. The main AHDB Board has delegated the responsibility to each sector board to develop the most appropriate strategies to meet the challenges of the sector; to ensure the relevant levy rate is recommended in order to provide adequate funding for the required work; to monitor strategy implementation and to approve remedies where performance deviates from plan. The sector board members are appointed by AHDB.
The main AHDB Board consists of the chairman, the six chairs of the sector boards and three independent members. The main AHDB Board members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Defra, acting with Welsh Government Ministers, Scottish Ministers and the relevant Northern Ireland department.
The day-to-day management of AHDB is overseen by a Senior Executive Team (SET) led by the Chief Executive:
A diagram showing both the main Board members and sector advisory board members is available here
All staff are employed by AHDB with sector specific activity being delivered under the established divisional brands of BPEX, DairyCo, EBLEX, HDC, HGCA and Potato Council.
There is also one commercially trading subsidiary within the AHDB group called Meat & Livestock Commercial Services Limited (MLCSL). It is a wholly owned subsidiary of AHDB and run as a separate company, limited by guarantee, supplying carcase classification and other services primarily to the meat and livestock sectors. All its costs are fully accounted for within the company and it returns any profits to AHDB to supplement levy funds.
Collectively, taking both the levy-funded and commercial operations plus grants, AHDB has an income in excess of £60 million and employs some 450 people (320 of these are levy-funded posts). More detailed income and budgetting information is contained in the back of the Corporate Plan.
Audit and Governance:
The AHDB levy income comes under Treasury rules for the governance of public money. The National Audit Office (NAO) is responsible for the external auditing of the AHDB accounts and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) acts as AHDB’s ‘sponsor’ Government department. The AHDB Accounting Officer is accountable to Defra Ministers and devolved administrations on the appropriate use of levy funds and corporate governance standards applicable to public bodies. A Management Statement and Financial Memorandum sets out the broad framework within which AHDB and Defra are required to operate in their relationship:
AHDB is firmly committed to openness, fairness and transparency in selecting all of its suppliers of goods and services. It must do this as a matter of law under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, and this approach will also enable us to develop a ‘most economically advantageous’ supply system and maximise our use of levy funds.
To this end, the AHDB website includes a procurement area (see left-hand menu bar) that lists all current procurements and provides links to enable any potential supplier to establish whether it wants to participate and how to do so.
AHDB has Standard Terms and Conditions that apply to all its contracts (or agreements) for the purchase of Goods and Services. These may be updated at any time by publication on this website and contracts are made applying the version current at the time of contracting. Suppliers are responsible for keeping themselves aware of changes. The current version applies from 12 April 2010. Previous versions can be obtained on request to the Legal Adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Board of AHDB embraces the principles of openness and is committed to publishing information on this website about its board meetings, its corporate plan and its annual performance. It has developed a Publications Scheme as part of its compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (2000) and this sign-posts people to a wide range of information published by AHDB and its sector organisations.