The levy board said the move was in response to a challenging business environment and the need to respond to new technology, such as VIA
AHDB was in ‘advanced talks’ with private business HallMark Veterinary Compliance Services about a takeover of Meat and Livestock Commercial Services (MLCSL) to ‘secure the long term future of independent classification services for farmers across Great Britain’.
It hoped the deal would be completed by the summer.
AHDB Chief Executive Jane King said: “MLCSL is facing an increasingly challenging business environment and we believe that this move will help secure its future.
“We believe that there will be synergies and efficiencies realised under commercial ownership that would just not be possible under the current public ownership model.
“These will be vital in securing the short term prospects of the business and freeing up investment for the future.
“In selecting the final bidder, the AHDB Board put a strong emphasis on HallMark’s track record of delivering independent services for Government and the meat industry as it is essential that farmers continue to have confidence in the classification services supplied by MLCSL in the future.”
HallMark Chairman David Peace added it was ‘extremely pleased’ by the discussions.
“As a key contractor to government departments for statutory farm inspections and Official Controls in abattoirs, we pride ourselves on HallMark’s independence, integrity and expertise.
“It is therefore clear to us that MLCSL’s outstanding reputation in all these regards will help us to further strengthen our own position, as well as fulfil our overall strategic objective to diversify and grow our operational capacity towards ever-improving efficiencies for our customers.”