SAMW reaction to QMS levy proposal
QMS proposal: QMS is asking the industry for an increase in the red meat levy to deliver the priorities outlined in its new five-year strategy. From spring 2024 it is proposed that the red meat levy will increase each and every year for the next five years by the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Over the coming weeks QMS will finalise its draft business plan and will present this to producer and processor levy payers via a series of levy payer workshops in November and December, as well as one-to-one meetings with processors over the same time period.
SAMW comment: “A properly resourced QMS is important to promote our products, to seek new markets at home and abroad, and to defend our sector’s reputation,” said Scott Walker, Executive Manager for SAMW. “In this context, we are not opposed in principle to a change in the levy rate, but we need to be convinced of the benefit of the activities on which the levy will be spent.
“We look forward to discussing with QMS their new 5-year business plan for implementing their new strategy. Value for money must be evident in everything QMS does. We are not against a new long-term funding mechanism and will consider what is being proposed against what we see in the new 5-year business plan. Levy rates need to be justified and increases should not be taken as a given. Our member companies, for example, have to earn their income increases on a day-to-day/month-to-month basis.
“We want to see clear outputs that benefit the industry from the activities undertaken by QMS and clear timelines for achievement. Regular reporting on the progress made against targets is needed to give us confidence that value is being secured from the levy collected.
“We will be judging the merits of an increase in the levy by the actions proposed in the business plan and will comment more fully once we have seen the details of the business plan.”
HCC & AHDB levy action
In addition to the levy plan advanced by QMS, both HCC and AHDB have already announced their own rate increases.
HCC levy rates increased by 10% in April 2023 and will going forward each and every year from now on in line with the annual inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index including owner occupiers’ housing costs.
AHDB is proposing a different approach to both QMS and HCC. Instead of following an annual inflation-based system, AHDB is proposing a single uplift in 2024 of 25% for the cattle & sheep levy rates and 20% for the pig levy rate.