THE planned restructuring of the five agricultural and horticultural levy boards, including the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), promises a more focused, efficient and cross-sector approach to industry issues, said Jonathan Cowens, HGCA chief executive.

Yet details of the changes just announced by the government, after a review by former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Rosemary Radcliffe, are still to be settled, said Cowens.

In April 2008, the five levy boards that producers pay for – the HGCA, the British Potato Council, the Meat and Livestock Commission, the Milk Development Council and the Horticulture Development Council – will be replaced by a statutory board with sector specific companies. The HGCA is likely to become its sector company.

“It’s not a long way away,” said Cowens about April 2008. “There’s still a lot to do.” The HGCA will continue unchanged until details of the restructuring have been settled. Cowens said the grain sector broadly supported continuation of the levy system.