Leading the way as a world-class centre ofagricultural excellence is key to achieving AHDBs ambition for UK agricultureto be the very best, according to AHDB Chairman Peter Kendall.
Speaking at todays Agricultural IndustriesConfederation (AIC) Conference, Mr Kendall explained AHDBs long term ambitionfor UK agriculture and the future role he believed the organisation could playas a centre of agricultural excellence, working across the supply chain.
He also reiterated his ambition to completeAHDBs journey towards becoming one organisation and to encourage genuineindustry debate post April 2015 on AHDBs future activities and potentialrole.
I know that talking about long term ambitionand farmers potential to seize market opportunities does not sit comfortablywith sectors in the grip of low prices such as those cereals and dairy areexperiencing now, he said.
The truth is, global market volatility ishere to stay in the same way as the vagaries of the weather are. But weve gotto keep looking at the bigger, long term picture at the opportunitiesprovided by growing markets at home and overseas. Lets dare to ask howwe can better compete for a share of these markets.
As well as pointing to UK success stories insoft fruit and, recently, in pig meat exports, Mr Kendall pointed to theachievements of agricultural sectors in other countries, highlighting that thekeys to success lay in collaborative supply chain working, a focus on growthand exports, good links between education, research and knowledge exchange andstrong, large scale centres of excellence for agriculture.
He added: AHDB has a long term ambition forits levy payers and UK agriculture. We want to provide levy payers withthe right tools to become the most efficient and sustainable businesses theycan be. Lets aim to be the envy of other countries and not be satisfied withsitting back and letting them take the lead.
I want to work with the industry to ensureAHDB becomes that world-leading centre of excellence for UK agriculture workingacross the supply chain.
This builds on our reputation as anevidence-based organisation with a solid track record of commissioning anddelivering research, knowledge transfer and independent market information.
He added: With a new Chief Executive and arefreshed Board in place by early 2015, I will be seeking a genuine debateabout the kinds of activity AHDB should be focusing on to deliver as thatcentre of excellence.
But I am mindful we have to do this againsta background of continuing to deliver more pounds on the bottom line for levypayers businesses.
Pointing to Octobers move of staff into anew, single building in Stoneleigh, Mr Kendall said the next stage on thejourney to becoming one organisation was to start to consider plans forrebranding AHDB:
Working together in one building, focused ondelivering under one unified, and unifying, brand means we will be able toleverage the impressive AHDB cross sector work that is being rolled out inareas such as soils, pest research, market intelligence, red meat exports andeducation.
The bottom line is weve got to look, feeland behave like one organisation if were going to deliver as the UKs centreof excellence for agriculture, he said.