Union meets new team at AHDB

Using statutory levy funds to drive a profitable and efficient farming sector was the focus of the first face-to-face meeting between NFU Scotland and the new team in place at Agricultural & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

NFU Scotland officeholders held a frank and useful discussion with AHDB Chairman Peter Kendall, newly appointed Chief Executive Jane King and recently appointed independent board member George Lyon. The meeting took place in the Union’s headquarters at Ingliston, near Edinburgh.

NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said:

“With a new team in place at NFUS and a new team taking up the reins at AHDB, this was an excellent opportunity to discuss the way forward for Scottish and UK farmers.

“It is clear we have a shared vision of making our farmers more competitive and efficient and the provision of evidence-based advice, information, marketing support and activity is key to that.

“It is also clear that these are difficult times for many sectors including milk, cereals, oilseeds and potatoes. That generates the need for levy monies to be used to best effect; to drive profitable and efficient businesses and examine how markets for our produce, whether at home or abroad, can be stimulated.

“Given the statutory levies raised in Scotland for AHDB bodies, it was also of merit that we teased out just how these bodies can best engage with farmer levy payers in Scotland, so that they continue to have an appreciation of the levy-funded work being undertaken on their behalf and how that may benefit their business.

“That has to be a two-way communication, and levy funded bodies also have to be able to adapt and react, should the need arise, given the increasingly volatile world in which we farm.

“No meeting with AHDB would have been complete without discussion on livestock levies and repatriation of levy money raised on Scottish livestock slaughtered in abattoirs in England and Wales. Discussions on a potential solution remain ongoing.”

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