October 5, 2023


AHDB seeks to increase UK's pork levy




The United Kingdom's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is proposing to increase the UK's pork levy by 21p from April 2024, in order to maintain and improve the services it provides to levy payers.


Under the plans, which need to be signed off by UK ministers, the levy would increase from 105p to 126p per pig. The increase, if it goes ahead, would be made up of a 17p rise for producers and 4p for processors, in line with the current levy split.


AHDB Pork Sector chair Mike Sheldon said the hike would raise about a further £1.5 million (US$1.8 million), taking the total pork sector budget to around £8.6 million (US$10.4 million).


The planned 20% hike in one go followed nearly 30 years during which the pork levy has not moved at all. With all the other levies unchanged for at least a decade, 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.


The pork levy was last set in 1996. The proposed levy rates include:


    - Pig producer: From £0.85 (US$1.03) to £1.02 (US$1.24);


    - Pig processor: From £0.20 (US$0.24) to £0.24 (US$0.29).


The proposed rates also cover other livestock:


    - Cattle producer: From £4.05 (US$4.91) to £5.06/head of cattle (US$6.14);


    - Cattle slaughterer/exporter: From £1.35 (US$1.64) to £1.69/head (US$2.05);


    - Calves producer: From £0.08 (US$0.10) to £0.10/head of cattle (US$0.12);


    - Calves slaughterer/exporter: From £0.08 to £0.10/head.


Additionally, proposed rates cover grains and dairy:


    - Cereal grower: 46.00p/tonne to 58p/tonne;


    - Cereal buyer: 3.80p/tonne to 4.80p/tonne;


    - Cereal processor (human/industrial): 9.50p/tonne to 12p/tonne;


    - Cereal processor (feed): 4.60p/tonne to 5.80p/tonne;


    - Oilseeds: 75p/tonne to 94 p/tonne;


    - Dairy farmer: 0.06p/litre to 0.08p/litre.


Levy payers are given the opportunity to inquire about the proposals over the coming weeks, including during an AHDB's "Funding Your Future" livestream event on November 9.


AHDB said the rate increases were being proposed to meet the request from levy payers to deliver more key services, including marketing and exports for the beef and lamb, dairy and pork sectors and more independent research for cereals and oilseeds. 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.


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."


- Pig World

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