Northern Ireland Ministers Agree New AHDB Levy Rates

Increases in levy rates proposed by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) for the beef and lamb, cereals and oilseeds, dairy, and pork sectors have received approval from ministers in Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland governments).

The new rates will be implemented from April 2024 and the AHDB has said they will allow it to maintain its focus on delivering the objectives set out in the sector plans, published in November 2022.

With no increase to the levy in the beef and lamb and cereals and oilseeds sectors for more than 10 years and no change in over 20 years for dairy and pork, the spending power of levy funds over the past decade has been reduced by up to 40%, according to the AHDB.

AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir said: “We are pleased ministers have approved the proposals, which will ensure the levy continues to support the work AHDB has committed to prioritising for farmers and processors across all the sectors we serve.

“The new rates will allow us to enhance our key activity whether, for example, that involves growing export opportunities or exploring further marketing campaigns in the beef and lamb, dairy and pork sectors as well as increasing our research offering to cereals and oilseeds producers.

“Levy payers can be assured that our commitment to helping them navigate through an unprecedented period of change for the industry is secure and we will continue to listen to their feedback to ensure we are delivering real value for money.”

The government has also agreed that Nicholas Saphir will serve a further 12 months as AHDB chair meaning he will remain in the role until March 31, 2025.

Levy Rates

The following are the approved changes in levy rates from April 2024:

Cattle (excluding calves)

  • Producer – from £4.05 up to £5.06/head;
  • Slaughterer/exporter – from £13.35 up to £1.69/head.

Calves

  • Producer – £0.08 up to £0.10/head;
  • Slaughterer/exporter – £0.08 up to £0.10.

Lamb

  • Producer – £0.60 up to £0.75/head;
  • Slaughterer/exporter – £0.20 up to £0.25/head.

Cereals and oilseeds

  • Cereal grower – 46p/t up to 58p/t;
  • Cereal buyer – 3.80p/t up to 4.80p/t;
  • Cereal processor (human/industrial) – 9.50p/t up to 12p/t;
  • Cereal processor (feed) – 4.60p/t up to 5.80p/t;
  • Oilseeds – 75p/t up to 94p/t.

Dairy

Dairy farmer – 0.06p/L up to 0.08p/L.

Pork

  • Pig producer – £0.85 up to £1.02;
  • Pig processor – £0.20 up to £0.24.

(Source – Agriland – Stella Meehan – 07/02/2024)

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