Fruit growers 'delighted' with PM's announcement - Fruit & Vine

Fruit growers ‘delighted’ with PM’s announcement

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement to boost the fruit and veg sector, fruit growers have been ‘delighted’ with the £10m boost.

Pears growing in orchard in British sunshine
Image credit: Unsplash

Speaking at the Farm to Fork Summit 2024, the PM laid out a new horticulture resilience and growth scheme.

It’ll aim to double the funding provided to horticulture businesses to £80m annually.

£10m will be set aside to help English orchard growers, helping them to access equipment, technology and improve infrastructure.

Fruit growers

Ali Capper, executive chair of British Apples & Pears Ltd (BAPL) said: “British apple and pear growers will be absolutely delighted with this much-needed announcement from the Prime Minister. 

Our fruit growers will be especially heartened by the announcement of up to £10m for English orchard growers to access equipment, technology and infrastructure.

This fast-forwarding investment will give our sector the critical confidence it urgently needs right now.

“We also want to welcome the doubling of funding for a retained EU scheme replacement in the PM’s announcement.

“We’ll need to look carefully at the detail to ensure it doesn’t add more red tape, but that notwithstanding, it’s very welcome news.”

Ali Capper executive chair of British Apples & Pears Limited BAPL
Ali Capper. Image credit: British Apples & Pears

Food security index

Ali Capper continued : “The Food Security Index is a positive move.

“We’ve been in desperate need of a device like this that can drive home-grown fruit and veg production.

“We’re not surprised at all that this year’s Index has revealed UK farming is at its most productive since records began – it’s something our apple and pear growers tell us all the time.

The future of British orchards and the growth of British apple and pear volumes is definitely looking brighter today.”

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) president, Victoria Vyvyan echoed the sentiments.

She states British food is ‘world-class’ and produces some of the ‘highest animal welfare and environmental standards found anywhere’.

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) President Victoria Vyvyan
Victoria Vyvyan. Image credit: Victoria Vyvyan/LinkedIn

Ms Vyvyan said: “It’s pleasing to see the Prime Minister recognise the importance of food security and growing domestic production.

“The public expect greater self-sufficiency in fruit and vegetables and farmers can provide it.

“The government must ensure its plan is ambitious and workable.

Rural economy

“We call on the government to go a step further by developing a robust and bold plan for the rural economy as a whole.

“The rural economy is 19% less productive than the national average.

“Closing that gap would add £43bn to national fross value added (GVA).”

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