AHDB sector reports set five-year spending priorities

As the AHDB’s four sector councils release their five-year plans and spending priorities this week, we provide an overview of how the levy council intends to “secure the future of agriculture”.

See also: Future of AHDB levy spending – what two farmers think

© Springfield Gallery/Adobe Stock

AHDB dairy products

With the mission of narrowing its scope of action and responding to the preferences of its 8,000 taxpayers, the milk sector council has identified three main areas:

  • Promote our notoriety
  • Data and evidence to back up our reputation
  • Practical support for farmers.

“Taxpayers gave us a clear message about the great importance of post-farm work, such as marketing campaigns, reputational advocacy, consumer education and exports,” the report said. “There was also strong support for areas such as animal health and welfare, the environment, dairy genetics and genomics.”

Specifically, the plans include measures that:

  • Deliver consumer marketing campaigns that encourage the consumption of dairy products
  • Vigorously challenge dairy misinformation in the media
  • Work with government and industry to boost exports
  • Monitor the use of antibiotics in the sector
  • Helps fight diseases such as Johne’s disease which can damage the reputation of dairy products
  • Developing the UK Dairy Roadmap to reduce the sector’s environmental impact
  • Using knowledge exchange to make farmers more profitable and sustainable
  • Provide market insights, such as margin analysis.

What it will do less than:

  • New work on bovine viral diarrhoea, mastitis and the Colostrum is Gold campaign will cease, as will benchmarking.

AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds

rapeseed tipping

© Tim Scrivener

The grains and oilseeds sector aims to focus more beyond the farm gate. Again, there are three main themes:

  • Reliable variety and product testing
  • Research and market intelligence
  • Work across the entire supply chain.

“Taxpayers have told us two important things: that almost every aspect of our work is valuable and that efficiency needs to be improved,” said Stephen Briggs, industry president. “But if taxpayers want to continue using the current services, we will have to increase the fee in the future.”

Specifically, the plan includes measures that:

  • Maintain recommended lists and seek to improve them
  • Improve research on fungicide performance and test other products such as micronutrients and biostimulants
  • Identify ways to counter rising input costs, such as better soil management and improved integrated pest management
  • Continue to provide market information, including carbon and biodiversity markets
  • Maintain the system of strategic farms, surveillance farms and arable enterprise groups.

What it will do less than:

  • Work in the area of ​​people and skills development will cease.

Beef and Lamb AHDB

grazing lamb

© Dmitry Naumov/Adobe Stock

The livestock sector faces many challenges, but one message has come through loud and clear: that the levy should be used to support the reputation of red meat and that all other work should contribute to this goal. The three main areas are:

  • Marketing
  • Exports
  • Insight and evidence.

“The industry acted on clear messages to amplify our work on marketing, exports and reputation,” the report said. “Offering this, combined with a reduction in total income, means tough choices will have to be made. »

Specifically, the plan includes measures that:

  • Continue the We Eat Balanced campaign, while distributing other marketing actions on all media
  • Helping retailers improve the shopping experience in the meat aisle
  • Work with the government to open more export markets for beef and lamb
  • Welcome overseas buyers and attend more trade shows
  • Collect data on animal health and welfare, for example via the AHDB drug center
  • Develop a roadmap to assess environmental impact and standardize metrics
  • Providing market information, educating consumers about nutrition and fighting misinformation.

What it will do less than:

  • Animal welfare work that does not help reputation will be reduced if it duplicates what others are doing.

AHDB pork


© Savo Ilic/Adobe Stock

After going through “brutal” times, the hog sector recognizes the need to offer the best value for money in the face of strong competition from imports. Its five-year plan includes the following major themes:

  • Marketing
  • Exports
  • Reputation.

“Levy payers were united in wanting the AHDB to prioritize post-farm work,” the report said. “But there were also above-average scores for almost all of the pre-farm work, such as environmental and animal welfare work.”

Specifically, the plan includes measures that:

  • Achieve award-winning consumer marketing campaigns, including targeting particular cuts
  • British pork champion in Europe, Asia and the USA
  • Working with the British Nutrition Foundation and Ladies in Pigs to educate consumers
  • Use the e-Medication Book to Demonstrate Reduced Antibiotic Use
  • Ensure disease surveillance, in particular for African swine fever
  • Provide complete market intelligence.

What it will do less than:

  • Less environmental work
  • Avoid duplication of work on animal health and welfare
  • Discontinue the pig health program.