Ask AHDB – Beef and Lamb Levy Increase Proposals

Not open for further replies.


AHDB’s Beef and Lamb Sector Council would like your questions about proposals to improve services and deliver more by increasing levy rates from the start of the 2024/25 financial year.

Sector Chair Colin Bateman will be taking part in a Q and A session, responding to questions from levy payers, at AHDB’s ‘Funding Your Future’ livestream event on 9 November.

Colin is an upland livestock producer with more than 25 years’ experience in the beef and lamb sector. His farming business runs to 340Ha and he has a particular interest in building future proof, resilient livestock systems.

You can find out details of the proposals for the Beef and Lamb Sector here: Funding Your Future 2023 – Beef & Lamb | AHDB

The Sector Council are proposing an increase in levy rates to:
  • Gaining access to growing export markets
  • Hosting more trade missions to promote British red meat to international buyers
  • Extra consumer marketing campaigns
  • Increasing education work with schools
  • Highlighting the low environmental impact of production
The Beef and Lamb Live Q and A session will start at 14:00 GMT on 9 November. Any questions not responded to on the day will be answered after the event and shared in this thread.


Chris F

Staff Member
We’re working with AHDB to get as many questions from farmers regarding the proposed levy increases in each of the 4 sectors. As per the Defra Q&A threads we have run before, these will run with the same aims. This thread is only for questions, all commentary will be deleted.

Please read all the questions and use the upvote or downvote buttons to indicate which questions you agree with as opposed to asking the same question twice. This will allow AHDB to understand which questions are most important to farmers.

The thread is open for questions now and will close at midnight on Tuesday 7th November. The Q and A’s are being held on the 9th November and the AHDB are aiming to answer all questions on the thread after the event if they aren’t covered in the live Q and A. The livestream will be included in this thread and also ran in the header of this section on the 9th November.

Please take some time to read the information relevant to your sector and then ask your questions below.


Livestock Farmer
why don't the AHDB cut their cloth we as farmers are always being told to make savings cut cost blah blah but we can't get a increase's in line with inflation we are just a bloody cash cow for all you hangers on. make savings cut some wages don't look on us to keep you going .
Well said!! Grieves me to see their levy taken off on the bottom of my print out, when I’ve had to take what’s given by the buyers in market!! All you hear off the buyers is ‘there’s no demand, export jobs knackered, the lambs too dear’!! We as farmers have the hardest part of the system, producing and rearing a product for everyone else to sell, the system relies on us to keep producing the goods yet we’re shafted at every opportunity!! Everyone else passes on their increased costs to us that we have to stomach but our price received stays the same or less relatively! The levy wants spending on getting more of a market for our own meat products in our own country aswell as upping export opportunities that supposedly have opened up to us in other countries!! Some prime time advertising wouldn’t go a miss and some positive messages about the good environmental work we as farmers do!!


Livestock Farmer
When will the AHDB realise putting adverts in the farmers weekly and farmers guardian about how wonderful our produce is might just be a massive waste of money because we already know!!!! Advertise too somebody that doesn’t already know 🤦‍♂️ preaching too the converted with very very expensive articles
Why are you the AHDB so keen to increase my costs by way of supporting/ Running the New LIS scheme for EID tagging in cattle when it will increase my costs/ red tape and stress levels for no gain?

Why did you the AHDB vote in favour of the RT Green module at the RT Sept board meeting without first consulting levy payers on the issue?

When is the AHDB going to do more for less like they keep on telling levy payers to do so?

Why is the AHDB levy such a complete and utter waste of money?

How do you justify your wages of £250 a day working for the AHDB?

When do we get a plain YES OR NO vote on scrapping the AHDB beef and lamb section?


Livestock Farmer
Why, oh why, do you still concede the bulldust about methane from cow burps warming the atmosphere?

No other industry would self fund a body that scored such a colossal own goal.

For goodness sake, get with the plan and fight for us, or expect our utter contempt.
Currently I'd vote to dump the lot of you.


Livestock Farmer
South shropshire
Bullet point 3
If there is to be more spend on advertising, how will that be done ? Please maximise use of social media, media influencers, you tube etc… we have the best food story to tell.


Livestock Farmer
AHDB website says you're spending £19 million annually on advertising

Public records show the AHDB revenue, excluding livestock information services, is around £8 million

1.)Assuming the AHDB marketing budget claimed on your website is correct, from where is the additional funding sourced?

2.)Why do you intend increasing levies upon already beleaguered primary producers, when the AHDB has access to alternative revenue streams?

Your marketing strategy centres upon cluttered, information dense, defensive, difficult to digest flyers. Many of the "messages" published have not altered for over half a decade.

3.)With a rapidly changing society media influence, why has the AHDB not invested in alternative marketing strategies that are proven to deliver more effective response and greater value for money?

4.)What evidence does the AHDB have that increasing their compulsory levy revenue will increase primary producer income?

5.)Why should livestock farmers have no choice but throw good money after bad?


Livestock Farmer
AHDB, you are asking for a 25% rise in our levy rates.

If you can lift the average price of beef and lamb, returned to your levy payers, over the next 12 months by 25%, we will pay you that increase.
If not, we'll stay as we are, thanks.

Don't keep banging on about us 'becoming more efficient' - we've been doing that for years, we've about exhausted all the efficiencies we can make.


Livestock Farmer
At a time when UK agriculture is being squeezed from all sides, what makes the AHDB (an organisation which claims to work for us farmers) think it’s acceptable to increase levy payments by 25%? Surely it’s time to reassess how OUR money is spent? Telling farmers how great our product is is just preaching to the choir. It seems more sensible to stop wasting funds on that and reasign those funds to educating the public.
Where were AHDB when the deal was signed with Australia to allow them more access to our marketplace? A move that will almost certainly negatively impact profitability for sheep and beef producers.
Why do the AHDB seem to roll over and allow RT and other quango organisations to attempt to steamroller new rules onto farmers that offer a negative impact on farm profitability?
You mention all the things you wish to achieve with an increase in levy payments. These objectives are no different to what you ought to have been doing for years? Instead of milking farmers for more, try being more efficient and actually using the money you have to the maximum like we’ve all had to do.
The green lobby are years ahead of us in claiming how bad red meat production is for the environment. That falsehood should have been a prime objective for years now. Not an excuse to increase levies now.
Not open for further replies.

Are you planning to sell up?

  • Yes

    Votes: 24 4.7%
  • No

    Votes: 339 65.7%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 86 16.7%
  • Yes, but over 12 months time

    Votes: 51 9.9%
  • Already have in the last 12 months

    Votes: 16 3.1%

Graham Wilkinson to join AHDB as new CEO

  • 3,249
  • 60
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has today announced the appointment of Graham Wilkinson as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Graham brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success from his time at Arla Foods as Global Vice President, Agriculture. During his extensive time at Arla working in both Global and UK roles, he has successfully supported over 8,500 cooperative farmer owners and managed the delivery of innovative commercial milk concepts on farm.

With his experience and knowledge of the supply chain, Graham created a leading European Agriculture Function within Arla, spanning seven markets. He has also worked in the retailer-side at Tesco PLC, where he strengthened the sustainability of agriculture supply chains in its dairy, beef...