AHDB has confirmed it has received valid requests for a ballot from more than five per cent of horticulture levy payers
AHDB has formally announced there will be a ballot on the continuation of a statutory levy in horticulture.
Growers delivered a formal request for a ballot last week. Lincolnshire farmer and petitioner John Bratley said they had called for the ballot as the review by Defra had been ‘appalling’. Growers had run a private ballot which found a majority of growers were not in favour of the statutory levy.
It will be a yes or no vote on the future existence of AHDB Horticulture and the work it delivers on behalf of growers and was expected to commence in January.
The announcement follows confirmation that AHDB had received valid requests for a ballot from more than five per cent of horticulture levy payers.
AHDB will now procure the service of an independent company to administer the vote process.
Every levy payer will be invited and encouraged to vote in the ballot.
Once the ballot has concluded, AHDB will publish the results on its website and inform Ministers. Ministers will then make a decision on the future of the levy, taking into account various factors, such as voter turnout. Ministers are not bound by the result of the ballot.
Nicholas Saphir, AHDB Chair, said. “We welcome the opportunity for an open debate on the important role of AHDB and how it is the funding backbone of horticultural applied research and development to address crop protection, labour, resource use, and technical innovation.”