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Register now to have a say on how your levy is spent

9th Mar 2022 / By Alistair Driver

Levy payers have until the end of this month to register to entitle you vote on AHDB's future priorities - and, indirectly, the size of the levy. 

Angela ChristisonThe vote will not be about whether the statutory pork levy remains or goes, but the priorities the sector council focuses on in the future.

“AHDB can’t decide its own existence. That’s something only industry and Defra can do. This is not about whether a levy is collected, but what is done with it,” AHDB pork strategy director Angela Christison told Pig World, pointing out that the option for a yes-no vote remains at any time, if 5% of levy payers submit requests for such a vote within a three-month period. 

“This is a great opportunity to shape how AHDB uses your levy. But you need to register to vote by the end of March, so please do sign up,” she said. 

Register to vote

From April 11, levy payers will get to vote on the priorities they want AHDB to focus on in the future.

  • In order to vote, levy payers must register by midday on March 31. You can find out more and register here:
  • Call 02476 016237 if you require help registering.
  • Each eligible business gets one vote per sector.

How the vote will work 

Levy payers will get to vote on AHDB’s Pork sector council’s overarching priorities for pork and its key activities. 

Five sector ‘needs’ will be laid out: 

  •  Selling all parts of the pig for the best value.
  •  Protecting and promoting the reputation of pork and the pig industry.
  •  Work on animal health and welfare.
  •  Work on the environment.
  •  Supporting profitability of farm businesses. 

There will also be a list of nine areas of work to address these priorities, including exports, domestic marketing, educating young consumers, defending pork’s reputation, animal health and welfare, environmental work, skills development and market intelligence to inform both the industry and government. 

Levy payers will get to rate each priority and area of work from 1 to 5 in terms of the importance to their business. Importantly, there will also be open boxes for comments.  

Levy payers will also have the opportunity to ratify the appointment of the sector council members that have joined this year. 

The sector councils, which have replaced sector boards, will then propose the work that needs to be done on behalf of levy payers to the main AHDB board, which will be responsible for delivering it efficiently.

Ms Christison stressed that by deciding on what activities AHDB should and should not focus on, levy payers will effectively get to propose the levy rate. 

“The sector council will propose what work is commissioned by the AHDB team and what levy rate is needed to fund it, a pretty significant development, which puts the sector more in control” she said. 

You can read the full Pig World interview with Angela Christison HERE

NPA comment

After, the vote was discussed at yesterday's NPA Pig Industry Group meeting, NPA chief executive Zoe Davies urged levy payers to register. 

She stressed that those that do vote will determine the size of the levy for all levy payers, including those that don't bother to vote. 

"If you haven't registered yet, please do so as soon as you can. This vote will determine what the levy is spent and the size of that levy, so it is abolsutely that everyone who pays a levy jas their say."