The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has announced that Jane King will step down from her role as CEO by the end of September 2021.

King had overseen AHDB’s new five-year strategy and business plan, as well as improving levy-payer engagement and value for money.

She will continue to lead AHDB’s strategic change programme of work while she remains in post and recruitment for her successor takes place.

King said:

It has been a great privilege to lead an incredible team at AHDB and to work with inspirational farmers, growers and partners to deliver our programmes and services. The commitment and dedication of AHDB colleagues has been amazing.

“It’s always difficult to craft a farewell message, but I have the comfort of knowing that together we have achieved a good deal and AHDB will go from strength to strength under fresh leadership.

“The new five-year strategy will see AHDB playing a crucial role in helping to grow British agriculture and horticulture at a time of great change and opportunity.

“I would like to thank all those colleagues, stakeholders, partners, board members and levy-payers who have shown me so much support and encouragement over the last five and a half years. You’ve been awesome.”

Responding to the news, National Farmers’ Union (NFU) director general Terry Jones said:

“Jane has driven a great deal of positive change in her time at AHDB and provided strong leadership for the organisation.

Her work over the past six years provides solid foundations on which to build the new five-year strategy for AHDB at what will be a critical time for British agriculture.

“I look forward to working with her successor and hope that I enjoy the same close working relationship that has characterised Jane’s time in post.”