NFU Scotland is consulting members on their views of AHDB as the UK Government examines the continuing need for the statutory levy body.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is currently requesting views from farmers, growers and others in the food supply chain on the future need for the levy body, and to gain a better understanding of what stakeholders believe the levy body should deliver.

National Farmers' Union (NFU) Scotland will submit a response to the request for views, by the deadline of the Friday, November 9, and is seeking the views of members.

In order to produce its response NFU Scotland has launched its own consultation with members across a number of sectors, asking members if AHDB is working as well as it can for levy payers and where they can improve.

Primarily AHDB serves the dairy, potato, horticulture, cereals and oilseeds sectors in Scotland, with some work being done for the beef, lamb and pork sectors in collaboration with Quality Meat Scotland.

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said: “It’s important that farmers, growers and crofters in Scotland have their voice heard in this call for views on the role that AHDB plays within our industry; locally and nationally.”

“Levy bodies such as AHDB currently play an important role for the industry, responsible for assisting the industry in marketing our products, investing in innovation and building knowledge transfer to enhance best practice on-farm.

While levy costs are by no means the most substantial cost to farming businesses, we must recognise that levy boards work for those of us who pay the levy, as we are required to do by law.

“I would encourage NFU Scotland members to feed in to the NFU Scotland consultation to ensure that our response to this call for views is a reflection of the view among levy payers.

"I’d also encourage those who can to respond individually to Defra,” McCornick concluded.