Press Statement – 27/10/2020
James Alcaraz, chair of the association, has written on behalf of BPOA members to urge the Secretary of State to make a radical reform of the AHDB and would be supportive of a new structure to carry forward levy funded R&D provision by other means.
BPOA regards the need for ongoing research as paramount and supports the work of AHDB
Since the inception of AHDB as the successor to HDC in 2008, BPOA has consistently worked together with AHDB to ensure the continuing flow of research and development to growers.
In its submission to the November 2018 DEFRA review of the AHDB, and following its own internal survey, BPOA has confirmed the majority view that growers were supportive of funded research by statutory levy.
BPOA has clearly pointed out, in exchanges with AHDB and DEFRA, that it finds a number of issues of difference with the management of the programme and looks forward to these being addressed in the upcoming strategy review.
It will be important in the future for growers to have a strong representation in all areas governing the direction of the AHDB, in particular the creation of the strategy document as well as the budget preparation. In managing this last item the matter of the levy will need careful review; whilst a mandatory levy fund is generally supported, its calculation requires revision in the view of many growers.