About us

About us

AHDB Horticulture, formerly Horticultural Development Company (HDC), was established in 1986 with a remit to fund research and development and communicate results to growers. In 2003, it was also given responsibility for near-market R&D for the apple and pear industry.


Following the Radcliffe Review in 2005, which assessed the structure and efficiency of all agricultural levy boards, the government established a single levy board called the Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). In 2008, AHDB Horticulture (HDC as it was then) became a division of the AHDB and now manages the levy board activities for the horticulture industry.


With responsibility for over 300 horticultural crops, AHDB Horticulture looks after the different crop interests through the following crop sectors:


Industry led research

To ensure that this near-market R&D is correctly tuned to meet the needs of industry, growers and farmers play a vital role in setting research priorities in each of the crop sectors and in the decision making process for individual research projects. To see our 'Fit for the Future' strategy document click here, or to see our Research and Development strategy in full click here.


A source of technical information

For industry to truly benefit from research it is essential that results and technical developments are communicated in an effective and timely manner. AHDB Horticulture achieves this through the organisation of industry events, the publication of factsheets, reports, crop walker guides, training DVDs, wall charts, software programmes and AHDB Grower, the technical journal for industry.  See the Knowledge Hub page for copies of publications and the Events page to see all upcoming events.


Our Communications and Knowledge Delivery strategy - 'Engagement with Impact' - presents how AHDB Horticulture will deliver knowledge derived from the priorities set out in its Fit for the Future strategy. It ensures that AHDB Horticulture is focused on delivering relevant and impactful messages to the right person at the right time and provides the vital link between research, development, knowledge and the levy payer to achieve maximum business benefit.


The ballot process for AHDB levies

The Statutory Instrument under which AHDB Horticulture, as a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) operates, allows for levy payers to write in and request a ballot on the continuance of a levy. If 5% (circa 70) levy payers put in a request during a 3-month period then a ballot will be called.

The Horticulture levy is one of eight levies collected by AHDB, which also cover pigs, cattle, sheep, milk, potatoes, cereal and oilseeds.

For more information on the ballot process please see the detailed guidance on the AHDB website.


Please note that AHDB Horticulture became the new name for HDC in June 2015. Any references to HDC on this website, now refer to AHDB Horticulture.