Launching the next phase of AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds

Richard Laverick

Well, the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Regional Managers are up and running and everywhere I go I am told this is the right thing for us to be doing.  The aim is a simple one, to get closer to the industry and develop a more detailed understanding of the specific needs and requirements at a local level.  I have only been with AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds a short time but already it is clear that the organisation holds a wealth of truly independent knowledge and information vital to the future development of the industry, key to building real resilience and ‘sustainable’ farming practice.  The challenge is to get the information out in a timely manner and in a format easily used by all that need it.  Over the past few months I have been attending many events in the region and meeting with many organisations and individuals, contact that has already provided opinion and a variety of views to feedback to Stoneleigh and to help inform AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds strategy.

This is a vital process key for my role and that of the Regional Managers across the country. We want to get information out but we also want to hear your thoughts and ideas on what AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds should be doing; the events we should be running; issues that we need to be addressing and perhaps ideas and suggestions for novel areas of development.

More recently we have spent time launching the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Monitor Farm programme, the application window for which is still open. If you are interested all you need do is email me before 29 November.  Already the response to the call has been tremendous: nationally over 100 growers have expressed an interest in the programme.  It’s great that there is so much interest, and although not everyone will be able to become a Monitor Farmer there will be lots of other ways to get involved in the work, such as joining an Arable Business Group.

This is a very exciting, significant and new undertaking for AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. While it is based on the programme in Scotland nothing like this, certainly not on this scale has been developed in England and Wales before.  Becoming a Monitor Farmer at the beginning of the programme will be a great opportunity to influence how this initiative develops.

There is a lot happening: the roll-out of Regional Managers and the launch of the Monitor Farm programme, developments that are already having impact.  I look forward to working with all of you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on events and information that AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds should provide in our region.



Richard Meredith grew up on a family farm in Herefordshire, and is based in Ledbury. He joined AHDB first as a Regional Benchmarking Officer, providing benchmarking support to AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, Eblex and DairyCo levy payers. Prior to that, Richard worked for five years with a machinery ring co-ordinating contracting and hire services in the agricultural and related sectors. As AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Regional Manager, Richard is passionate about helping to strengthen UK farm businesses, making them more resilient in the long term.