Defra re-appoint Nicholas Saphir as the chair of AHDB

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Nicholas Saphir’s role as the chair of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has been extended for another year, from April 1, 2023, until the end of March 2024. 

Originally appointed as AHDB Chair in 2020, Mr Saphir’s role has been approved by Scottish and Welsh government ministers and those from the Northern Ireland Executive. He said: “I’m delighted to extend my term as Chair of the AHDB at this defining time for UK agriculture. The AHDB has a vital role to play in helping our levy payers meet the challenges that lie ahead. The organisation has been through a radical period of change including delivering better value and more targeted services, which levy payers have highlighted as priorities.”  

Nicholas Saphir

He continued: “The recent launch of the new strategies for the Beef & Lamb, Cereals and Oilseeds, Dairy and Pork sectors underpin our commitment to listen and deliver. I look forward to being part of the next stage of the journey in facing up to the challenges and helping levy payers take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.” 

Mr Saphir has an extensive background in agriculture and horticulture and has been engaged in running public companies farming and processing food in the UK, Europe, Southern Africa and South America. He has a significant record of achievements in the chairing of industry and government bodies in the sector, having been the chairman of the Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Cooperation, founder chairman of Food from Britain, president of the Fresh Produce Consortium and chairman of the Agricultural Forum. 

Tim Rycroft, AHDB Chief Executive, said: “Nicholas’ agricultural and commercial experience has been invaluable in helping me restructure and re-focus AHDB to deliver better value. The AHDB team and I are looking forward to continuing working with him on the next stage of that journey.” 

The role and its appointment is governed by the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. In accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, successful applicants are required to publicly declare any political activity. During the appointment process, Mr Saphir did not declare any such activity. He will be awarded a non-pensionable remuneration of £55,000 per annum, along with reasonable travel expenses, with a minimum time commitment of 104 days per year.

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