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October 2020

British Growers News Update: Veg Power

By Industry News

If you are interested in the marketing of veg, this is worth a quick read and a slightly longer view on YouTube


Veg Power is calling on the UK horticulture industry to unite with retailers and foodservice providers to change children’s perceptions of vegetables, increasing their consumption and addressing a growing health crisis.


The not-for-profit Veg Power alliance is asking companies across the whole vegetable supply chain to come together to fund its expansion. The aim is to bring together retailers and food producers with caterers, restaurants, growers, wholesalers, processors and the companies who supply them to support a year-round promotion of vegetables.


Veg Power is launching a whole-sector membership programme that gives the grocery industry and horticulture sector a direct stake in the future of the campaign. With this support vegetable will have the largest and most creative campaign in fresh produce industry.


The online launch took place on 22 October so if you missed but want to see what happened, you can watch it at your leisure by following this link.



Jack Ward


British Growers


30 October 2020

RABI extends support for farmers with new wellbeing initiative

By Industry News

Charity’s evolving strategy aims to reach more farming people


With 2020 bringing ever greater levels of uncertainty and unexpected changes, pressures on the farming community continue to grow. As part of a new package of services designed to assist people deal with these complex challenges, RABI is launching an online wellbeing community and counselling service for farming people across England and Wales on 19 October.


Against a backdrop of continuing strains and demands, this new online initiative is a significant step in RABI’s plans to evolve its services, to better meet the changing needs of farming people.


“We know that farmers have continued to face exceptionally difficult times. Managing mental wellbeing and maintaining good mental health has emerged as one of the most significant issues facing our sector, which is already known for its higher than average levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and suicide,” says Alicia Chivers, RABI’s Chief Executive.


“Our aim is to make a real difference to the farming community that RABI has been dedicated to for the past 160 years. We believe early intervention and one-to-one support are essential to ensuring good mental health and tackling the root causes of poor wellbeing. We believe that providing confidential, easily accessible, free online support can make a real difference to a wide audience.”


The initiative features two distinct sites – for adults, while is tailored to those aged 11-17. These safe and confidential online platforms are being delivered in partnership with a specialist online mental health provider. The websites include dedicated farmer friendly content that addresses farming sector specific challenges such as loneliness, Brexit anxiety, animal health and crop disease and farm debt.


Users will be able to anonymously access farmer specific and more generic content, as well as a wealth of discussion boards, case studies and messaging functions. There are many tools, such as a journal to record and track progress against personal goals, as well as tips and articles.


In addition, all users can access one-to-one counselling support from BACP recognised, qualified professionals through a chat function. The practitioners are trained in different forms of counselling, allowing them to meet individual needs and preferences.


“No one should take mental wellbeing for granted. We believe offering practical support through these sites is a constructive and hugely positive step forwards. It forms a key aspect of RABI’s ambitious five-year strategy that will extend our offering to a broader audience. We understand the issues that farmers face and really care about finding and developing tools that can assist. Our role is to offer encouragement so people can access the services they need, early enough to make a difference, hopefully preventing them from reaching crisis point,” continues Alicia.


“We also need to initiate frank and honest discussions throughout agriculture to tackle this complex subject. Therefore, we are also reaching out to numerous stakeholders and organisations, who I hope will join us by raising awareness more widely and amplifying these important messages.”


“The launch of the online wellbeing community is a significant step towards achieving our vision that ‘no farmer should ever face adversity alone,’” concludes Alicia.


To access the online counselling platform, visit the RABI website:

Veg Power Membership Programme Launch – Thursday 22 October 10 -11am

By Industry News

Veg Power, the unique alliance formed in 2018 to turn around vegetable consumption in the UK is hosting a launch event for its membership programme on Thursday 22ndOctober at 10.00-11.00am. The event is being hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with presentations from Baroness Rosie Boycott (Chair, Veg Power) and Dan Parker (Chief Executive, Veg Power). We’d be delighted if you would be able to attend. If the timings don’t work with your schedule, the event will be recorded and the link can be sent to you.

Since its inception Veg Power has reached 46 million people through its advertising campaign and engaged 425,000 kids through the schools’ programme. As a result, childrens’ perceptions are starting to change and more vegetables are being consumed. However, more financial support is required and the membership programme is the first-of-its-kind within the UK’s grocery sector. It involves all businesses from seed to fork including growers, caterers and retailers and the companies who supply them.

Rebecca Stevens (MSc, ANutr)
AfN Registered Associate Nutritionist

Please email confirming your attendance, you will then be provided with access details closer to the time. Interviews can also be arranged with the speakers.

British Apple and Pear Season launches with Raymond Blanc OBE

By Industry News


British Apple and Pear Season launches with Raymond Blanc OBE


·         The 2020 British crop is estimated to be a staggering 1.6 billion apples and pears

·         This season has proved challenging for the industry but BAPL’s Raymond Blanc collaboration aims to create an incredibly strong start to the season

·         Raymond Blanc agrees Britain grows some of the greatest tasting
apples and pears in the world

London, 5 October 2020.  Although COVID-19 has presented many challenges for the British apple and pear industry, UK growers are determined to bring in a successful and delicious harvest. In 2020, a staggering 1.6 billion apples and pears (183,00 tonnes) will be picked by hand across British orchards, and British Apples and Pears Limited (BAPL) is urging retailers to put their support behind the nation’s fruit as the key promotional season begins.

To launch the start of season, BAPL is working with one of the true titans of Britain’s food scene, Raymond Blanc OBE, who believes that Britain’s many apple varieties are the finest in the world.

Ali Capper, Chief Executive of British Apples and Pears comments, “We believe this will be our biggest start of season campaign yet. Not only are we using Raymond Blanc’s celebrity chef appeal to reach consumers directly on TV, radio and print, we are also working with key social media influencers to get our apple a day message out to as many people as possible.

“There’s no doubt this season has been challenging for our growers. They’ve been working around the clock to overcome the challenges posed by the weather conditions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we’re delighted that the hard work and commitment of our growers is paying off with the most delicious tasting fruit. With the support of British retailers, we are excited to announce the start of a wonderful British apple and pear season.”

The Start of Season collaboration with celebrity chef, Raymond Blanc, aims to fuel excitement about this year’s crop and cement the UK’s position as the greatest apple nation in the world. As part of the activation, Raymond Blanc has been interviewed in a British apple orchard for BBC Countryfile, to be broadcast on Sunday 4th October 2020. Furthermore, Ali Capper, Raymond Blanc and a selection of regional growers will take part in a nationwide radio day on Wednesday 7th October 2020 to share news of the incredible taste and flavour of British apples, the nutritional benefits, while also offering snacking advice and recipe ideas across the nation. The BAPL PR agency, Spider, is also securing further national press and TV coverage from early October to showcase the delicious new season fruit.

Chef Blanc says, “For me, some of the greatest tasting apples in the world are British. The start of the season gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase British apples and pears and to talk about the fantastic varieties available right here on our doorstep. I am extremely proud to be working alongside British growers. When we remind people of just how wonderful the humble British apple is, I know everyone will be as excited about British apples as I am.”

Over the last three years, BAPL has invested almost £1m to help strengthen awareness of the health benefits of British apples and pears, to encourage an apple a day snacking and to ultimately reach its market share target of 60% by 2030.

Sales patterns[1] during the COVID-19 period have shown families swapping to eat more healthy apples and pears, a positive for growers and retailers alike.  However, with recent data showing the average person consumes less than half an apple a day[2], there is a profound opportunity to increase consumption of British apples and support growers during the key promotional period.


Notes to Editors: 

For more information on British Apples and Pears please contact either Adrianna Godziek or Ellie Taylor or call 0207 403 6900

About British Apples and Pears

British Apples & Pears is a limited registered company formed in 1990 to organise and develop the promotion of the British apple and pear industry. They work year-round to promote delicious British high-quality apples and pears and we are led by a committed board of grower directors. The organisation acts as a trade association, to promote and safeguard the interests of its British grower members and to promote British grown apples and pears. Membership is restricted to British growers of apples and pears and each member’s shareholding is determined by their hectarage of apples and pears.  It is funded by a voluntary levy – every time a class one British apple or pear is purchased the growers donate a small sum to the promotional fund.  It represents the whole of the British industry, working hard on their behalf to grow their market share, raise awareness and engage with consumers and retailers with the aim of supplying 60% of all the apples and pears consumed in the UK by 2030.

[1] Kantar data July 2020

[2] Kantar Data,  May 2020

AHDB Ballot Confirmed on Statutory Levy for Horticulture – Update

By Company News

This is the latest announcement from AHDB detailing its plans for a ballot of AHDB Horticulture levy payers:

 AHDB has formally announced there will be a ballot on the continuation of a statutory levy in horticulture. It will be a yes or no vote on the future existence of AHDB Horticulture and the work it delivers on behalf of growers.

The announcement follows confirmation that AHDB had received valid requests for a ballot from more than five per cent of horticulture levy payers.

AHDB will now procure the service of an independent company to administer the vote process. This will take a number of weeks and AHDB envisages that voting process will commence in January. Every levy payer will be invited and encouraged to vote in the ballot.

Once the ballot has concluded, AHDB will publish the results on its website and inform Ministers. Ministers will then make a decision on the future of the levy, taking into account various factors, such as voter turnout. Ministers are not bound by the result of the ballot.

Nicholas Saphir, AHDB Chair, said. “We welcome the opportunity for an open debate on the important role of AHDB and how it is the funding backbone of horticultural applied research and development to address crop protection, labour, resource use, and technical innovation.”

Supporting Veg Power

 The Veg Power team recently issued a prospectus to support its fund-raising activities to continue the Veg Power campaign. The following text is taken from the introduction to the prospectus.

 “So far, the campaign has raised £1.7m in cash funding for our campaigns and secured over £10m of donated media space, goods and services, led by our foremost partner ITV. Our Eat Them to Defeat Them TV campaign has reached over 46 million people; our schools’ programme is in 1,500 primaries and our social media campaign to champion seasonal vegetables has reached 11 million people. More kids are seeing vegetables as fun, and children, their parents, schools, and retailers are all reporting a direct increase in sales and consumption.

 The sheer scale and high quality of this work is a testament to the immense support for our mission and the dedication and skill of our team. Now that team needs your support. For this to continue, as it must if we are to secure lasting change, then we need reliable core funding to support our work. We know that money is tight in the horticulture sector, so we are asking all the larger companies from growers to retailers and the companies who supply them to subscribe to Veg Power at a cost of £12,000 per year. We are going to ensure that your support will be rewarded.

Support from the whole supply chain will ensure increased sales for the entire vegetable category. Our Chief Executive, Dan Parker, has set out our vision for Veg Power, our work to date, and how we will continue and increase our impact. In consultation with industry partners we have created a series of direct business benefits available only to our supporters which will give you an edge as the market grows.

 Three great challenges of our time, climate change, Brexit and the clear link between dietary health and Covid-19 share the simple vegetable as part of their solution. We have an outstanding team, an influential board and a huge network of supporters who stand ready to capitalise on

these trends. I urge you not to miss this opportunity.

Baroness Rosie Boycott

Chair Veg Power campaign

 The Veg Power team has mailed the prospectus to around 400 businesses across the fresh produce industry. The mix of businesses includes growers, retailers, suppliers, processors, in short anybody with a connection to the fresh produce industry and with an interest in promoting the consumption of vegetables.

We know the number of people involved in the industry is much greater than 400; so if you weren’t on the Veg Power mailing list but would like a copy of the prospectus or want to know more about the campaign, please get in touch with Dan Parker, CEO of the Veg Power campaign. His email is

Veg Power launches activity book to encourage Kids to eat more veg

By Industry News

Unique alliance to encourage kids to eat more vegetables

  • Unique alliance formed to encourage kids to eat more vegetables. Partnership between Public Health England, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Veg Power, Coop, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Chartwells.
  • Funded by Public Health England, ASDA, Coop, Sainsbury’s and Chartwells.
  • Supported by TV advertising campaign donated by ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Media.
  • Together they have created an activity book full of veg puzzles, games, recipes and fun, themed to the popular Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign to inspire kids to love veg.
  • 250,000 copies distributed for free via partner stores and through community projects, food banks and schools.
  • Also available to download online at
  • The kid-friendly recipes including Zombie Peppers, Smashed Carrots and Googly Eye Tomatoes will encourage families to cook together.
  • Fun videos of the recipes also available on The Super Yummy Kitchen You Tube channel.

Eat Them to Defeat Them is back this October with an action-packed kids’ activity book. Veg Power and ITV have brought together Channel 4 and Sky, and partnered with Change4Life to create an activity book full of veg-themed puzzles, fun, games and recipes for kids and their families to enjoy. The book has been kindly funded by Public Health England, ASDA, Coop, Sainsbury’s and Chartwells, with advertising donated by ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

250,000 copies will be distributed for free via ASDA & Sainsbury’s stores, Coop community champions and through community projects, food banks and schools.

This is the latest initiative from the award-winning Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign, which ran its second campaign in spring 2020. Created by Veg Power and ITV, with the support of Channel 4, Sky and 10 retail and food brands, the TV campaign reached over 46 million people and the schools programme reached 425,000 primary school age kids, with 76% of them saying it made veg more fun.

There will be a downloadable version of the puzzles and recipes at, YouTube videos of the recipes by The Super Yummy Kitchen and a supporting TV and social media campaign.

Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England said:

“We are delighted to be working with Veg Power on this initiative. Encouraging healthy eating habits is an important part of giving our kids the best start in life. We know that motivating kids to eat their greens can be a challenge which is why this campaign is so important, helping to make healthier choices easier for families”

Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose at ITV said:

 “The Eat Them to Defeat Them activity book is the next step in our ongoing mission to get more vegetables on the plates of children up and down the country, in an engaging and creative way. This campaign has always had one very clear objective – to get kids eating healthily – and we’re all hugely encouraged and motivated by the continued positive response we’ve had. The activities, which you can download at home, should be great for keeping kids entertained and healthy this autumn.”

Dan Parker, Chief Executive, Veg Power said:

“Now more than ever we need to eat more veg – it’s key to improving the nation’s health and to supporting our fresh produce industry. This activity book has been created by a unique and powerful alliance, bringing together government, business, broadcasters and the third sector to collaborate on this essential issue.”

Meg Longworth, Director of Nutrition and Sustainability, Chartwells said:

“As the UK’s leading education catering specialist, we want to help young people get the best start in life. Our approach is to go beyond the food on the plate and support with education and information around nutrition and wellbeing. This activity book is a great way to engage children and the cook along videos on The Super Yummy Kitchen go a step further in encouraging them to want to cook and eat more veg.”



*** To enable Veg Power to continue with its mission, a membership programme is being launched to the horticulture sector via a webinar on Thursday 22nd October at 10.00am – 11.00am. Hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with presentations from Baroness Rosie Boycott (Chair, Veg Power) and Dan Parker (Chief Executive, Veg Power). Please save the date and a more formal invitation will be with you shortly***