The rate increase is the first that AHDB has made in over a decade, and range from a 25% increase for beef, lamb and cereal producers, whilst dairy producers face a 33% increase in levies. Pig producers and processors will be paying 20% more than previously, the first rise in almost 30 years for pork producers.
The rise was first proposed back in October 2023 and has now received full ministerial backing from Defra and the devolved administrations.
AHDB say that the rate increase, which will affect farmers in the livestock, dairy and crop sectors, has been made to allow the organisation to deliver more key services, including marketing and exports for the livestock and dairy sectors and more independent research for cereals and oilseeds.
It also says that it has been affected by rising costs due to the increase in inflation.
At the time when the proposals were first put forward, AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir said there was “never a perfect time for such proposals” but that inflation had affected the value of the levy by “around 40%”.
Following the confirmation of new levy rates, he said that the increased income to the organisation will help to “enhance key activity”.
“Levy payers can be assured that our commitment to helping them navigate through an unprecedented period of change for the industry is secure and we will continue to listen to their feedback to ensure we are delivering real value for money”, he said.
“A properly resourced AHDB will be vital to promote the value of our products, to seek new markets at home and abroad, enhance the productivity of the industry, and to defend the farming sector’s reputation."
NFU President Minette Batters
The levy increases in full
On the table below, you can see the new AHDB levy rates which will take effect from April 2024.
|Beef and Lamb (price/head)
|Cattle (excluding calves)
|Cereals and Oilseeds (price/tonne)
Value must be demonstrated
Responding to the news that the levy will increase from April, NFU President Minette Batters stressed the importance for AHDB to “adapt and respond to” challenges it faces.
She said: “A properly resourced AHDB will be vital to promote the value of our products, to seek new markets at home and abroad, enhance the productivity of the industry, and to defend the farming sector’s reputation.”
“Crucially, evidence and data must drive the work of AHDB and value for money must be evident in everything it does – this value must then be demonstrated to levy payers.”
What is the AHDB levy?
AHDB was established in 2008 as a non-departmental public body, funded by farmers and others in the supply chain through a statutory levy.
It represents meat and livestock (Beef, Lamb and Pork) in England; Dairy in Great Britain; and Cereals and Oilseeds in the UK
Farmers and growers can find more information on the levy rate increases and what they mean for each sector at: AHDB | Funding your future 2023