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Stackyard News Jul 08

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AHDB Organisation Design Shapes Up

The proposed organisation design and structure for the new Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) came off the drawing board at a meeting on 7 July 2008.

Following in-depth work by the sector organisation CEOs, led by AHDB Chief Executive Kevin Roberts, proposals for the optimal design of the new organisation were presented to the board.

The board agreed the following key points:

  • AHDB should be one organisation arranged in a divisional structure including a range of centralised activities - finance, IT, levy collection, human resources, market intelligence, business and corporate services, AHDB communications.
  • The business functions of research and development, knowledge transfer, marketing and stakeholder communication will be managed at sector level.
  • There will be a single senior executive team headed by the AHDB Chief Executive.
  • There will be a chief scientist a senior marketeer recruited to enhance the quality of output and foster better collaboration across those areas.

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
AHDB Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said: "I'm delighted that we have a proposal on a workable organisation design for AHDB which combines the strengths of the sector approach with the efficiency benefits which come from greater collaboration and shared central services.

"This paves the way towards delivering the £3.5m annual cost efficiencies estimated in the original business case. These proposals are now subject to employee consultation before being finalised.

The principles which framed the structural design work of the CEOs were that: levy payers are at the heart of what AHDB does; AHDB is one organisation; changes in organisation design and structure must deliver better value for levy payers; design proposals must build on the efficiencies and economies in the "Accenture" Business Case; the underlying principle that Sector Boards are responsible for developing sector strategies to meet the needs of each sector was fundamental to the process.

AHDB Chairman John Bridge said: "Our priorities during this financial year are threefold: firstly the successful delivery of the sector business plans without undue interruption. Secondly to develop and start to populate the operational structure for AHDB and finally to put in place the corporate governance policies and procedures to ensure AHDB continues to operate to the high standards set by the former levy boards.

"The relocation process will start this September when the five-strong AHDB transition team moves across into temporary accommodation in Stoneleigh Park and will culminate when we move into our new building in 2010."


The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board became operational on 1 April 2008. It is a statutory levy-funded organisation with the duty to help improve the efficiency and competitiveness of various agriculture and horticulture sectors in the UK - meat and livestock (cattle, sheep and pigs) in England; commercial horticulture, milk and potatoes in Great Britain; cereals and oilseeds in the UK. Levies raised from each sector can only be used to the benefit of that specific sector, and the responsibility for setting and delivering the strategies to deploy the levy income is delegated to the boards of its six sector organisations: BPEX, DairyCo, EBLEX, Horticultural Development Company, HGCA and the Potato Council. For further information visit

link Spotlight on World Food Day 2008
link Sichuan Earthquake: $6 Billion Damage to Agriculture
link High Food Prices Could Reverse Agricultural Growth

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Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board