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UK ministers appoint new members to Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

UK government and devolved administration agriculture ministers have appointed five new main board members with experience across the organisation’s remit.

Cereals levy payers Sarah Bell and Stephen Briggs, Beef and Lamb levy payer Colin Bateman and Dairy levy payer Lyndon Edwards bring experience in each of the organisation’s main cropping sectors.

The organisation will also benefit from added legal expertise with the appointment of Dr Catherine Mackenzie, a lawyer with a background in agriculture and digital development, as well as Stephen Briggs’ agroforestry expertise.

The new appointees will help to broaden the organisation’s skill base as part of a commitment to modernising the main board. All five appointees began their three-year terms on 13 September 2021.

Farming minister Victoria Prentis said: "The new board members bring with them impressive expertise and a wealth of experience from across the agriculture sector."

"I’d like to congratulate them all on their appointments and I’m confident that they’ll help us to achieve our objectives of modernising the AHDB and building an organisation that delivers for farmers and growers."

AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir said: "These new appointments reflect our ambition to build a modern, fresh governance structure that puts levy payers right at the heart of everything we do. This will enable AHDB to deliver an organisation for British farmers, growers and processors while acknowledging the challenges farming faces in the coming years."

"Along with the arrival of our new CEO Tim Rycroft on the 31 August, the focus on additional levy payers and skills-based appointments to our board will help AHDB to reduce bureaucracy and deliver better value and outcomes for levy payers."

The five new main board members will receive a non-pensionable remuneration of £11,808 per annum, based on a minimum time commitment of 36 days per year. Reasonable travel expenses are also paid.

These are Ministerial appointments, made jointly by Defra, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.

The appointments have been made in accordance with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments published by the Cabinet Office. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.

There is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if significant) to be declared. All five appointees have declared that they have not taken part in any significant political activity in the past five years.

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