A rallying call has been issued to industry experts across the UK to join forces with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to help support its extensive collection of data for the cereals sector.

As part of its ‘New Ways of Working’, the AHDB has set up two new groups to expand its offering to the industry – the AHDB Cross Sector Working Group and the AHDB Audit Function Group.

Both groups will feed into the UK Cereals Supply and Demand Balance Sheets – which are now managed by AHDB as part of a new partnership with Defra at the start of the year, following a period of public consultation.

The aim of the two new groups is to secure more industry input into the balance sheet forecasts before they are finalised, as well as ensure all data is up-to-date and accurate.

As part of this additional work, AHDB has created a new team responsible for data and analysis of market intelligence. The team will manage the collection, storage, processing and publication of the cereals usage data.

Senior analyst Millie Askew, who heads up the new team, said: “AHDB is committed to this work as we know the usage data and the balance sheets are highly valued by the industry and we feel it’s vital to continue to provide high-quality information for the cereals sector.

We recently held a ‘New Ways of Working’ workshop with a number of key industry stakeholders to discuss how the current processes around the balance sheets and usage surveys can be improved.

“And as a result of this collaboration, we have launched two new groups which will provide major benefits to the industry. We are now calling for industry experts to join our groups and help shape the cereals sector.”

The Cross-Sector Working Group is a forum where participants will openly share their views on what may affect the availability and usage of cereals in the UK.

The aim is to complement the confidential one-to-one conversations with stakeholders to ensure well-rounded views are obtained from a range of industry representatives. The first working group will take place through a teleconference on October 9, 2018.

The Audit Function Group will include internal and external industry stakeholders that work with AHDB to help evaluate and improve the processes involved with the production of the UK Cereals Supply and Demand Balance Sheets.

Ms. Askew added: “Currently, there are measures in place to engage with industry prior to each balance sheet being released. However, due to timings and workloads, it has proved difficult to get representatives together as often as we’d like.

“These two new groups will mean that industry is more joined up and able to provide a better, more up-to-date and accurate source of data for the cereals sector.”