The short-term transition of producer organisation funding by Defra provides welcome relief for growers and avoids a funding gap that could have had a significant impact on horticultural businesses.
Responding to the news, NFU horticulture and potatoes board chairman Ali Capper said: “I’m incredibly pleased that Defra has listened to our concerns and granted a short-term transition to growers that ensures there is no funding gap while a new UK horticulture productivity scheme is developed.
“Producer organisations are hugely valuable to Britain’s horticulture sector, selling more than 50% of all British fruit and veg, as well as driving co-operation, productivity improvements and technology developments.
“A new UK horticulture productivity scheme is an exciting prospect for growers and we have been working closely with Defra to ensure it is fit for purpose and helps support the sector to grow and be globally competitive.
“It is critical that producer organisations have sufficient clarity on the structure of the new support mechanisms ahead of programmes ending, so that they have time to make the necessary preparations.”