AHDB proposes 21p hike in pork levy from April 2024
4th Oct 2023 / By Alistair Driver
AHDB is proposing to increase the pork levy by 20% from April 2024, the first increase since 1996.
Under the plans, which need to be signed off by Ministers, the levy would increase by 21p from 105p to 126p per pig. It would be made up of a 17p rise for producers, from 85p to £1.02, and 4p for processors, from 20p to 24p, in line with the current levy split.
AHDB Pork Sector chair Mike Sheldon said the hike would raise about a further £1.5m, taking the total pork sector budget to around £8.6 million.
Increases have been proposed across all four of AHDB’s remaining sectors. The sector councils will make a final recommendation to the AHDB Board, which will put the proposals to Government Ministers and Devolved Administrations later this year.
Levy payers are being given the opportunity to ask questions about the proposals over the coming weeks, including during an AHDB’s ‘Funding Your Future’ livestream event on Thursday, November 9.
AHDB said the rate increases were being proposed to meet the request from levy payers to deliver more key services. This comes at a time when AHDB’s spending power has been greatly reduced by rising costs, which have been particularly affected by the increase in inflation.
AHDB Pork Sector Council Chair, Mike Sheldon, said: “A levy increase of 21p per pig will allow AHDB to keep delivering the vital support this sector needs, whether through promoting the high integrity of British pork, pursuing export sales to underpin prices in the UK or by pushing back on mistruths around nutrition and production by balancing out the debate.
“The Pork levy rate is the same today as it was over 20 years ago, and its spending power has dramatically reduced since then. We need to act together to face huge challenges and optimise the future of the sector.”
Mr Sheldon told Pig World AHDB now intends to hold a ‘conversation’ with levy payers to explain why it believes the move is necessary and to gauge levy payer views. He insisted all views, ‘warts and all’, would be considered and passed onto Ministers.
AHDB Chair Nicholas Saphir said: “The message from levy payers through Shape the Future was clear, that key services provided by AHDB, such as independent research, the Strategic Farm networks, activity to identify new export markets as well as domestic marketing, are seen as vital to levy payers.
“This is an unprecedented time for our industry, with inflation alone eroding the value of the levy by around 40%. There is never a perfect time for such proposals, however it must be noted that it has been at least 12 years since a levy rate was last increased.
“The Sector Councils are right to explore the option of increasing the current rates but by taking a proportionate approach that takes into account the impact of the current economic climate on farmers, producers and processors. Therefore, I do recommend that you fully support the proposed increases.”
Find out more
- Levy payers can find out more about the details of the proposals by visiting www.ahdb.org.uk.
- Sector Councils will be available to answer relevant questions via face-to-face meetings, email (email@example.com), social media and the Funding Your Future livestream event throughout the autumn.
- Further details of Funding Your Future, along a full schedule of activity, will be announced in October.