Redistribution of red meat levy agreed by England, Wales and Scotland

The redistribution of red meat levies to take account of cross-border livestock movements between England, Wales and Scotland has been agreed by all three nations, and will be implemented on April 1, 2021.

The three levy bodies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Meat Promotion Wales/Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), have worked together to develop individual calculations for the cross-border movement of cattle, sheep and pigs to slaughter.

The redistribution aims to address potential imbalances in the current system where a levy is collected in the country of slaughter without taking into account the country where the animal spent a significant part of its life.

The redistribution only applies to the proportion of levy collected from farmers and is to come into effect at the start of the 2021/2022 financial year.

It has been a long-running objective for all three boards to have direct control over all levies from home-producers for marketing campaigns, industry development and export activities.

However, all three organisations said they plan to maintain their commitment to collaborative projects.

‘Accountability and transparency’

Gwyn Howells, chief executive of HCC, said:

“Since the issue was first raised by HCC as part of the Radcliffe Review in 2005, it’s been a long journey to achieve clearer accountability and transparency in the way the red meat producer levy is distributed, and to fairly reflect the devolved nature of agriculture.

This change will help the HCC provide best value for the levy contributed by farmers in Wales and place us in a stronger position to promote our iconic Welsh brands and deliver for our industry.

AHDB chief strategy officer Will Jackson, said: “We are pleased that all three nations have agreed the changes to levy distribution and we are excited about this new way of working, which will come into effect next month.”