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UK: Farmers’ levies frozen after ‘most difficult year for decade’

PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 April 2014

A tractor harrows a field near Boxford

A tractor harrows a field near Boxford

(c) copyright citizenside.com

An Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) proposal to freeze levy rates for farmers for the second year running has been approved by UK Ministers following one of the most difficult years for farming in more than a decade.

The decision to hold 2014-15 levy rates for all industry sectors at the same level as last year was one of the recommendations made by the levy board in its 2014/17 Corporate Plan. This went to a six-week stakeholder consultation before being formally agreed by Ministers at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Scottish Government, Welsh Government and DARD Northern Ireland prior to last week’s meeting of the AHDB board.

“The decision not to change levy rates reflects industry concerns caused by one of the most difficult years for farming in over a decade,” said AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor.

“It is the board’s considered view that the forecast levy income, supplemented with reserves where necessary, will be sufficient to fund AHDB’s proposed work programmes for 2014/15,” he added.

AHDB has six operating divisions – covering pigs (BPEX), dairy (DairyCo), beef and lamb (EBLEX), horticulture (HDC), cereals & oilseeds (HGCA) and potatoes (Potato Council).

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