The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

AHDB seeks to win back trust

The AHDB has a new person at the helm and he has prioritised winning back the trust of the levy payers.

Tim Rycroft has spent the past six years as Chief Operating Officer for the Food and Drink Federation and says that experience will help in his quest to move the AHDB forwards after a very challenging few years.

Rycroft also believes his position as an ‘outsider’ from a non-agricultural background will mean he can take a different perspective on the issues facing the AHDB. That said, he made sure the first people he spoke to as he stepped into the new role were farmers. The biggest themes, he quickly discovered, were how tough it is at the moment with the changing trading environment and the move to net zero.

The farming community also didn’t hold back when it came to outlining what they felt was wrong with the AHDB in its current guise. ‘Too much bureaucracy, cost cutting and not running a lean organisation were the main criticisms. It is now important we prove none of those things are true about us,’ said Rycroft.

The new CEO will be listening closely to the views of AHDB levy payers, particularly in light of the exit of the horticulture and potato sector leaving the AHDB as levy payers.

Looking at the wider picture of the supply chain issues hitting the whole food industry, Rycroft said it was clear the causes were not simple but included Covid and Brexit.

‘It is not very fruitful trying to understand the causes. What matters is how we get out of it,’ he said, adding those solutions were not something which could happen overnight.

Pic credit: Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash