Defra approves Eblex levy rise

Defra has formally approved the first increase to Eblex levy rates in 10 years – in a bid to aid a £2m scheme to boost exports of beef and lamb and showcase the benefits of eating red meat.

From April 1 2011, the new rate for sheep will be 80p, and for cattle £5.40.

Eblex’s proposals, part of the 2011 corporate plan for the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), were the subject of industry and public consultation before being formally submitted to Defra.

Nick Allen, Eblex sector director, said: “We are delighted that the government has now formally given its support to our plans after considering feedback from industry, but this is just the start of the process.

“We now need to put into practice activity to help back exporters and better communicate the benefits of eating beef and lamb. We have set tough targets of raising beef exports to 20% of production, maintaining lamb exports at 30% of production, increasing offal exports, maintaining consumption of beef and tackling a decline in lamb consumption.”

Allen added: “We would like to thank all of those who contributed to the consultation, in particular the trade associations who are widely supportive of the proposed strategy, and we look forward to working with them and producers going forward to achieve a sustainable and profitable beef and lamb industry for England.”

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