Value for money is key for AHDB, NFU says

The NFU says AHDB must 'deliver and demonstrate' value for levy investment
The NFU says AHDB must 'deliver and demonstrate' value for levy investment

AHDB must ensure levy payer confidence in how their money is being spent, the NFU has said in response to the organisation's five year strategy.

The 2021-2026 strategy lays out the organisation's plans as it embarks on a major change to improve value for levy payers.

In its response, the NFU acknowledged the 'important and vital role' that the levy board had to play in the future of British farming.

But above all, it said the AHDB should set out to deliver and demonstrate value for levy investment.

The union added that the levy organisation should also put evidence and data at the heart of its new five year strategy.

Enabling greater agility and flexibility when it comes to responding to issues of the moment was also needed, the NFU said.

It added that the AHDB should focus on each sector’s individual needs and ensure that all sector representatives were transparent and credible within the industry.

Finally, the NFU said that the organisation should commit to ensuring that the routine five-year ballots were fair for all levy payers, including those that pay indirectly.

NFU President Minette Batters said the AHDB had a 'vital role' to play in the future of UK agriculture as next few years would be 'more challenging than ever'.

"We will need all hands on deck to promote our products, seek new markets and support our farmers through any changes coming down the tracks.

“As with any business or organisation, AHDB needs to be able to adapt and respond to whatever challenges come our way," she said.

"We are navigating through completely unchartered waters, not only due to Brexit but also a global pandemic and climate crisis, and agility is going to be vital in such a fast-changing environment."

Mrs Batters said evidence and data must drive AHDB's work, and value for money 'must shine through in everything it does' – this value must then be demonstrated to levy payers.

“As part of the five year strategy, the planned two-pronged approach to drive both farm performance and industry and product advocacy looks like a positive way forward,” she said.