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AHDB Ballot Confirmed on Statutory Levy for Horticulture – Update

By 7th October 2020No Comments

This is the latest announcement from AHDB detailing its plans for a ballot of AHDB Horticulture levy payers:

 AHDB has formally announced there will be a ballot on the continuation of a statutory levy in horticulture. It will be a yes or no vote on the future existence of AHDB Horticulture and the work it delivers on behalf of growers.

The announcement follows confirmation that AHDB had received valid requests for a ballot from more than five per cent of horticulture levy payers.

AHDB will now procure the service of an independent company to administer the vote process. This will take a number of weeks and AHDB envisages that voting process will commence in January. Every levy payer will be invited and encouraged to vote in the ballot.

Once the ballot has concluded, AHDB will publish the results on its website and inform Ministers. Ministers will then make a decision on the future of the levy, taking into account various factors, such as voter turnout. Ministers are not bound by the result of the ballot.

Nicholas Saphir, AHDB Chair, said. “We welcome the opportunity for an open debate on the important role of AHDB and how it is the funding backbone of horticultural applied research and development to address crop protection, labour, resource use, and technical innovation.”

Supporting Veg Power

 The Veg Power team recently issued a prospectus to support its fund-raising activities to continue the Veg Power campaign. The following text is taken from the introduction to the prospectus.

 “So far, the campaign has raised £1.7m in cash funding for our campaigns and secured over £10m of donated media space, goods and services, led by our foremost partner ITV. Our Eat Them to Defeat Them TV campaign has reached over 46 million people; our schools’ programme is in 1,500 primaries and our social media campaign to champion seasonal vegetables has reached 11 million people. More kids are seeing vegetables as fun, and children, their parents, schools, and retailers are all reporting a direct increase in sales and consumption.

 The sheer scale and high quality of this work is a testament to the immense support for our mission and the dedication and skill of our team. Now that team needs your support. For this to continue, as it must if we are to secure lasting change, then we need reliable core funding to support our work. We know that money is tight in the horticulture sector, so we are asking all the larger companies from growers to retailers and the companies who supply them to subscribe to Veg Power at a cost of £12,000 per year. We are going to ensure that your support will be rewarded.

Support from the whole supply chain will ensure increased sales for the entire vegetable category. Our Chief Executive, Dan Parker, has set out our vision for Veg Power, our work to date, and how we will continue and increase our impact. In consultation with industry partners we have created a series of direct business benefits available only to our supporters which will give you an edge as the market grows.

 Three great challenges of our time, climate change, Brexit and the clear link between dietary health and Covid-19 share the simple vegetable as part of their solution. We have an outstanding team, an influential board and a huge network of supporters who stand ready to capitalise on

these trends. I urge you not to miss this opportunity.

Baroness Rosie Boycott

Chair Veg Power campaign

 The Veg Power team has mailed the prospectus to around 400 businesses across the fresh produce industry. The mix of businesses includes growers, retailers, suppliers, processors, in short anybody with a connection to the fresh produce industry and with an interest in promoting the consumption of vegetables.

We know the number of people involved in the industry is much greater than 400; so if you weren’t on the Veg Power mailing list but would like a copy of the prospectus or want to know more about the campaign, please get in touch with Dan Parker, CEO of the Veg Power campaign. His email is