Rooker announces chair designate of the new levy board

John Bridge has been appointed chair designate of the new UK statutory agricultural and horticultural levy board.

John Bridge has been appointed chair designate of the new UK statutory agricultural and horticultural levy board and will play a leading role in setting up the new levy board before it assumes its full statutory responsibilities in 2008.

This new levy board will replace five existing levy boards - the British Potato Council, the Meat and Livestock Commission, the Milk Development Council, the Horticultural Development Council and the Home Grown Cereals Authority, from 1 April 2008.

Welcoming the appointment, Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food, Jeff Rooker said: "With his wealth of experience, John is in an excellent position to lead the radical reform of our Levy Boards. This will include a review of the needs of the industry and the rates of levy. The new structure will provide better value for money and offer greater accountability for farmers and growers".

The new board will have responsibility for ensuring that levies are raised and spent cost effectively in meeting the challenges facing these industries in the future.

Bridge commented: "I am delighted to have been appointed to this important and challenging position and I look forward to delivering all the new structures by 1 April 2008; structures which are designed to improve accountability and services to levy payers."

It is expected that the new levy board will take on some of its statutory functions in December 2007, followed by a full vesting day on 1 April 2008.

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