British pig farmers want the levy they pay to the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) to be spent on marketing. They also want Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to keep out of decisions about how the pig levy is spent.
British pig holders pay 85 pence or about €1.20 per pig compulsory levy to AHDB Pork, formerly BPEX. AHDB is the umbrella organisation for the UK levy organisations including those for beef and lamb, potatoes and horticulture. Currently, AHDB Pork spends some £3.8 million or 40% of its budget on marketing. Defra and the board of AHDB are putting increasing pressure on the pork division to use the levy money for other purposes then general marketing, such as research and development.
However, pig holders strongly disagree, a survey by the National Pig Association shows; 95% of the voters in the online survey said they want more of their levy spent on promotional activity, like the successful Pulled Pork campaign AHDB Pork carried out early in the summer, in order to help halt the flagging consumer demand for pork. Only 3% think Defra should be able to say how the levy is spend. AHDB Pork has already decided to run a second general marketing campaign for pork early next year. The organisation hasn’t made public how much of its budget that’s going to cost.