Decision making at Potato Council.
Potato Council raises approximately £6m p.a. through levy (80% from growers, 20% from buyers) which is spent largely on assisting industry to improve competitiveness and sustain demand for potatoes. Ensuring it is spent wisely remains front-of-mind on a daily basis for all our team. The following steps describe the processes by which we decide on expenditure and highlight where levy payers can register their views.
Our staff are always keen to hear views on what works well (and equally what doesn’t) throughout the year either by phone, email or face to face. They are also responsible for collating feedback, running ad hoc surveys and consulting key stakeholders and ensuring information is presented to our management team.
Our management team are responsible for development of strategies and the day to day operation of the organisation. We meet monthly to consider operational delivery and we have strict budgetary targets to meet; these are considered every month.
Our committees are drawn from across industry and we take great care to ensure we have the right balance between grower, purchaser, fresh, processed and seed sectors as well as the right representation from other organisations. There are 5 committees representing Research and Knowledge Transfer, Marketing strategy, Seed and Export, Market Information and Management of Sutton Bridge. Each committee is chaired by a PCL Board member and their role is to ensure that suitable advice is given to our board on current activity, future priorities and funding and strategic direction.
Our Board meets six times a year and they provide oversight on our operational activity. They also put aside time at each meeting to discuss future strategy and will consider detailed plans from one of the committees and the relevant member of the management team. Once a year, a special meeting takes place where all of the sub-strategies are pulled together and brought into balance. This discussion forms the basis of our future strategy expressed through our business plan.
Our stakeholders and relevant trade associations (e.g. NFU, NFUS, Potato Processors’ Association, Fresh Potato Suppliers’ Association) are fully engaged in development of our plans. We meet with each at a strategic and technical level throughout the year to ensure views are registered.
Our business plan provides detail of our strategy, operational plans, financial strategy and targets. It feeds into a top-line Corporate Plan published by AHDB.
Your views on what we do and what we plan to do are always welcome; you can use one of the channels listed above, speak directly to me on 07771 817083 or respond formally when our business plan is put out to consultation (typically each November).