The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) will make £7.8 million of reductions from its annual staff and overheads budget of £29 million, as part of plans to reduce operational costs and improve efficiency over the next two years, starting with key changes being made to the organisation’s leadership team.

As part of the commitment to reducing bureaucracy and costs, outlined in the Change Programme for 2021 to 2026, reductions of around £6 million will come from the wind-down of the horticulture and potato sectors.

Most of the reductions will be in place by March 2022, with the remainder during 2022/23.

Further savings in general expenditure are planned through a number of changes, including the number of senior managers being cut from 20 to 14, a reduction of 30%.

As part of the restructure, the board of AHDB is pleased to announce that Will Jackson, chief strategy officer, will take on the role of divisional director - engagement while Interim CEO/chief finance and operations officer, Ken Boyns, will become AHDB’s new divisional director – services.

AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir said: “This new structure puts a clear focus on day-to-day delivery across all our knowledge exchange, technical, market intelligence, exports and marketing work.

"At the same time there will be absolute focus on levy payer engagement and involvement in planning sector priorities and programmes.

With our new team now taking shape, this autumn we will be ready to unveil fundamental changes to the way levy payers can have a better say regarding what we provide, including the introduction of regular votes on a wide range of services and delivery.

“The revised senior management team will be in place at the beginning of September ready for the arrival of the new CEO Tim Rycroft.”