Beef and lamb producers in England are being called upon to apply to join a national discussion group facilitated by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The AHDB Beef and Lamb Ambassadors Group aims to challenge the current thinking of farmers, encourage their sharing of ideas, and to motivate participants to increase the efficiency and profitability of their own businesses.

Members will sit on the group for a three-year period, with the group holding two meetings each year which can be anywhere in the UK.

Discussion group

Through the discussions, participating farmers can develop their technical and business skills from the access to industry experts.

The meetings will be tailored to the needs of the group, with participating farmers having the opportunity to host and discuss challenges directly related to their business.

Group members will also learn about wider industry issues that impact the beef and lamb sector and gain an understanding of how they can assist AHDB in its vision to protect and promote the industries reputation.

Phil White, a previous AHDB discussion group member and suckler beef producer from Oxford, said: “I thoroughly recommend getting involved – benchmarking, learning new things and getting to know a fantastic network of farms has made a massive difference to my business.”

Applications close on Friday, August 4, with the first meeting planned for October 2023.

AHDB levies

A topic for discussion at the upcoming meetings may be the move by the AHDB to propose an increase to its levies, a decision that was supported by the National Sheep Association (NSA).

“No one welcomes costs increasing, but if we want a body to promote red meat products, to open new export markets, and to work to protect the reputation and ability of our industry then we must accept that it needs funding,” NSA chief executive, Phil Stocker commented.

At present, the levy rate for the beef and lamb sector has not changed for more than 10 years. It is currently £0.60/head for a sheep producer and £0.20/head for slaughterers/exporters of live sheep.