AHDB ballot confirmed on statutory levy for horticulture

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has formally announced there will be a ballot on the continuation of a statutory levy in horticulture. It will be a yes or no vote on the future existence of AHDB horticulture and the work it delivers on behalf of growers.

The announcement follows confirmation that AHDB had received valid requests for a ballot from more than 5% of horticulture levy payers.

AHDB will now procure the service of an independent company to administer the vote process. This will take a number of weeks and they envisage that voting process will commence in January.

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, commented on the announcement, saying:

“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.”

UK beef to be sampled in the US

The first shipment of UK beef to the US will be sampled by key influencers and buyers across three states next week, as part of an AHDB virtual launch event.

A group of chefs, butchers and members of the press will be targeted in the first showcase on October 13, with a select number receiving a cut of sirloin cannon and topside mini beef joints.

Also Read: UK beef to be served up in the US at AHDB launch event

The following day will see importers, distributors and wholesalers sampling the cuts, in a bid to highlight the exceptional taste and quality of UK beef.

This first shipment to the US comes after market access for UK beef was granted in March of this year after extensive efforts by both government and industry to demonstrate food safety controls during production.

The beef was flown to the US last week from a processing plant in Northern Ireland, marking an historic moment for UK beef exports in a deal estimated to be worth £66 million over the next five years.