AHDB, HCC and QMS have agreed individual calculations for cross-border movement to slaughter of cattle, sheep and pigs
AHDB, Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) have agreed a redistribution formula for the levy which will be implemented from April 1.
The agreement addresses the imbalance in the current system where levy is collected in the country of slaughter without taking into account cross border movements.
It will allow all three boards to have direct control over all levies from home-producers for domestic marketing campaigns, industry development and export activities but all three organisations say they plan to maintain their commitment to collaborative projects.
AHDB chief strategy officer Will Jackson, said they were excited about the new way of working.
“And whilst we welcome the reformed levy distribution mechanism, we are committed to continuing our collaborative approach to working and hope to build on the success of the last few years, which includes our jointly-run marketing campaigns and promotional activities overseas, all of which brings huge benefits to our levy payers.”
Chief Executive of QMS, Alan Clarke, paid tribute to the ‘tremendous effort’ of Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing as well as previous chairman Jim McLaren and former chief executive Uel Morton who had ‘laid the foundation’ for the work.
Gwyn Howells, chief executive of HCC, said it had been ‘a long journey’ since the issue was first raised by HCC as part of the Radcliffe Review in 2005.
“This change will help HCC provide best value for the levy contributed by farmers in Wales and place us in a stronger position to promote our iconic Welsh brands and deliver for our industry,” he said.
It was also welcomed by Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs (Wales), Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary (Scotland), and DEFRA Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis.
NFU Cymru said the split should be fairer for all.
NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman, Wyn Evans said they were pleased they had agreed a mechanism which looked to address the inequality without adding any additional cost to producers or processors.
He also welcomed news the levy bodies would continue to work together and jointly fund activities with mutual benefit to all red meat levy payers.
Mr Evans said: “Whilst in Wales there must be a focus on marketing and promoting our own PGI brands, there are areas where it is prudent to work together and share resources between all three countries in the red meat chain.”
He added this had been underlined by joint campaigns during Brexit and the pandemic.
“There are other areas of work that will benefit, including promoting the positive health benefits of red meat as part of a balanced diet and issues around climate change.”