Source: AHDB 

Ex-FDF COO Rycroft said it was ‘the right time to leave’ after a two-year spell at the levy board 

AHDB CEO Tim Rycroft will step down from his position at the helm of the levy board at the end of this year.

Ex-FDF chief operating officer Rycroft said it was “the right time to leave” AHDB after a two-year spell which saw him drive a major restructure of the organisation.

Rycroft had been “instrumental in delivering the board’s programme to refocus the organisation in terms of levy payer value and engagement”, said AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir.

Rycroft joined AHDB in the wake of significant change, following votes to abolish its compulsory levy by horticulture and potato growers in 2021, which led to job and funding cuts.

Saphir added Rycroft had “led the organisation through significant milestones, including the industry’s largest consultation ‘Shape the Future’, and developing a management team ready to support levy payers in dealing with the challenges that lie ahead”.

Throughout his leadership, he had “demonstrated a deep commitment to delivering for all levy payers and has embedded a culture that fosters collaboration”, he said. “The board is very grateful to Tim for his role in further developing a value-based and levy payer-engaged organisation.”

The support to levy payers that AHDB provided during his tenure included reputation work with consumers, such as its ‘We Eat Balanced’ campaign, plus education programmes, developing and maintaining access for exporters and practical tools to improve sustainable productivity, Saphir added.

“All based on our independent evidence and analysis. We confidently look forward to further supporting our levy payers as the food and farming industry faces into a challenging period of transition.”

The process of finding a successor to Rycroft would begin “shortly”, AHDB said.

Reflecting on his decision to step down, Rycroft said the move was “rooted in my confidence in AHDB’s future”.

The levy board had “navigated a period of significant change and is now back where it needs to be, facing into the future and clear about how best to serve levy payers and the wider agricultural sector”, he added.