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AHDB review puts market volatility at the top of levy payers concerns

Results of levy payer meetings has confirmed what they believe to be the biggest challenges and opportunities facing their business.

Alice   Singleton

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Alice   Singleton
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Livestock farmers said AHDB should concentrate on lifting the market at home
Livestock farmers said AHDB should concentrate on lifting the market at home

A new review conducted by Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) highlights the levy payers views on challenges facing their businesses.

 

It came as no surprise to AHDB that low profitability and volatility came through as the key challenges facing the industry.

 

More than 300 people took part in the 15 open levy payer meetings held throughout the UK, where AHDB staff collected 670 survey forms.


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Challenges

 

Tom Hind, AHDB's chief strategy officer said the aim of the review was to get a 'root and branch' perspective from farmers, growers, processers and key stakeholders on what they believe are the key challenges and opportunities in the industry, as well as the areas they feel AHDB can make the biggest impact on their business.

 

He said: "Above all it was a listening exercise and we are extremly grateful to all those who took the time to participate.

 

"It’s little surprise that low profitability and volatility come through as two key challenges facing businesses."

 

Source: AHDB

Marketing

 

Despite a major UK push to increase marketing overseas, research revealed UK levy payers felt marketing within the UK was more important.

 

Some livestock farmers voiced a feeling that AHDB should concentrate more on lifting the market at home, despite its work in beef, lamb and pork being applauded.

 

"Levy payers want AHDB to do more to help producers cope better with global market volatility, develop the brand reputation of British food at home and overseas and grow the market.

 

"They also want us to communicate better with them and more clearly demonstrate the ‘value’ of AHDB work to levy payers."

 

Communication

 

 

The report stated communications within AHDB are untargeted, rely too heavily on printed leaflets, and emails are lost in the mountain of information received every day.

 

AHDB's website is seen as particularly inaccessible to most producers and felt geared more towards corporate stakeholders than levy payers.

 

Mr Hind continued: “What matters now is how AHDB and its sector boards respond to the challenges identified by levy payers.

 

We are making some changes already – strengthening our evaluation, reviewing our communications, improving our digital capability and adjusting our sector plans.

 

"Through the coming months our Boards will be reviewing their strategies to ensure they are focused on making the biggest difference for levy payers in each sector”.

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