Crop Groups see British Growers Association as a key organisation in UK Horticulture

by Tim Mudge

Crop Groups see British Growers Association as a key organisation in UK Horticulture

Over twenty crop association Chairmen were invited to attend a recent meeting hosted by British Growers Association. Presentations were given by Jack Ward of British Growers, Kathleen Kelliher from DEFRA, Bill Parker from HDC and Mark Tatchell from Horticulture Innovation Partnership (HIP).

British Growers Chief Executive, Jack Ward, said “It is important that we have a clear mandate from groups that represent horticulture in the fresh produce industry. What we learnt from them today is that there are key areas where we can be more effective as an industry body and deliver results to them.”

Kathleen Kelliher’s presentation focused on the impact and reaction to the Russian import ban, SAWS, Producer Organisations, Water and EU funding for promotion. Bill Parker from HDC spoke about the aims and objectives of the organisation and warned that Endocrine Disruptors are the “Iceberg in the water for UK horticulture but that government does not seem aware of the implications.” Mark Tatchell spoke on the work that has been done since the HIP was formed in March 2013 and how the organisation needs the drive and direction from industry to make it successful.

During the discussion part of the day it became clear that British Growers holds a unique position in UK Horticulture. Laurence Olins, Chairman of British Summer Fruits Ltd. noted “British Growers has a helicopter view of our industry and is ideally positioned to provide the crop groups with services which can benefit them by spreading best practice from corporate governance to innovative and collaborative schemes to promote our produce.”

Concluding the day, Jack Ward commented “I will be consulting with group Chairmen on the major issues. This will lead to us drawing up and implementing a plan to work effectively on issues across the whole sector. It will necessitate the involvement of many other likeminded groups to help horticulture raise its profile and get the message across that we are an innovative, forward thinking and vital industry that is key to the health and economic wellbeing of the nation.”