laura ryan ahdb

The beef and lamb division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has been given additional fire power, with Laura Ryan promoted to strategy director.

In the newly created role, she will be responsible for “shaping the vision” of how the levy board can best support the livestock sector to become more sustainable and competitive.

She would also ensure ringfenced beef and lamb levies were “used to maximum effect for levy payers”, AHDB said.

It comes after former AHDB beef and lamb sector board chairman Stuart Roberts resigned in August, citing the government’s “more aggressive stance” towards how the body gets to spend farmer levy payments. This was prompted by a row over a delay in the approval of budgets for a major autumn campaign to promote British lamb by the Cabinet Office.

AHDB is still looking for a replacement for Roberts.

Ryan has worked for AHDB Beef & Lamb since 2007 - most recently as head of strategic marketing. Her appointment follows a period of reorganisation for the levy board, which has seen five other strategy directors appointed over the past month responsible for pork, cereals and oilseeds, dairy, horticulture and potatoes.

The new strategy team reports to recently appointed chief strategy officer Tom Hind, who left as Tesco agriculture director in June. “Laura will bring exciting ideas as well as extensive supply chain and marketing experience to support the beef and lamb sector and our wider team,” he said.