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Monthly Archives

January 2021

Red Tractor | Fresh Produce consultation

By Industry News

Every few years, Red Tractor reviews its farm standards to ensure they evolve in a way that addresses changes in legislation, best practice and reflects the concerns and priorities of UK consumers. A comprehensive review is now open for consultation, running until the 5th of March 2021. It is open to all farms, customers, licensees and industry stakeholders. Preserving the public’s trust in UK agriculture and the Red Tractor logo has never been more important or topical. We strive to achieve a balance that protects and promotes Red Tractor farms, provides customers and consumers with confidence, and addresses key industry challenges.


Proposals have been developed following industry best practice: Committee | Consultation | Consensus. This is the consultation stage and every response will be reviewed before a consensus proposal is drawn up and published, ahead of Version 5 of the Red Tractor Standards being implemented on 1st November 2021. We have already consulted broadly at the committee stage to create these proposals and the public consultation is another vital component of the process. This will help ensure we have a final text that is ambitious but remains approachable and accessible for small, family farms and we want feedback from all relevant stakeholders.


You can access the Red Tractor 2021 Review Hub here.


I would like to strongly encourage you to get involved and have your say; both in response to the consultation and also the briefer Pulse Survey which allows individuals to provide quick, general feedback on the Red Tractor scheme.


If you would like some further information on the proposals, you will find a number of resources on the Red Tractor 2021 Review Hub. You are welcome to contact me if you have questions or would like to organise an appointment to run through the content in more detail.

Helping the food supply chain to find critical workers

By Industry News


From: David Camp, Chief Executive, Association of Labour Providers

Release Date: 13 January 2021

Helping the food supply chain to find critical workers

The newly launched, Association of Labour Providers Extra Workers Needed Portal supports the food supply chain to address critical worker shortages. A short demonstration video may be viewed here.

Despite rising unemployment figures, ALP’s recent labour supply survey identified that 92% of food growers and manufacturers believe there will be insufficient critical workers to meet the food supply chain’s needs in 2021.
Labour challenges are currently further exacerbated by higher Covid related absence rates.

The ‘Extra Workers Needed Portal’ is one way that the ALP is helping the food supply chain to meet this challenge. It’s a straightforward concept – any food supply chain business that needs extra workers can post their requirements for free in the portal and be contacted by UK wide and local GLAA licensed ALP labour providers that can supply them.

David Camp, ALP Chief Executive says, ‘This portal is a quick and easy way for businesses to reach hundreds of licensed labour providers across the UK, maximising their chances of sourcing the right number and quality of workers at the right time.  From a farm needing a few workers, to a food producer or distribution warehouse needing hundreds, the portal is freely available for all businesses to use.’

Businesses can register to use the portal here.

About ALP

ALP is the specialist trade association promoting responsible recruitment and good practice for organisations that source and supply the workforce to the food processing, agricultural and wider consumer goods supply chain.

Contact: David Camp ¦ Chief Executive ¦ Association of Labour Providers ¦ T 01276 509306 ¦ E ¦ W

British Growers News – AHDB Developments

By Industry News

AHDB Developments

Apologies for another update with AHDB in the title but January 2021 will a decisive month for the industry and AHDB Horticulture and it is important that people understand what’s happening, what the timescales are and how to influence the outcome.

AHDB Horticulture Ballot

The ballot on the future of the compulsory levy in horticulture will open on 13th January 2021 and end on 10th February 2021. The ballot will ask a simple yes/no question … Should the statutory horticulture levy continue?

Any person or business that has paid the horticulture levy within the previous 12-month period from the end of the ballot (10th February 2021) is eligible to vote. There is one vote per business, regardless of size or turnover and each business must decide who is going to cast that vote (e.g. if it is a partnership, only one person can vote). If you haven’t paid a levy in the past 12 months there is an option to pay a ‘nominal amount’ subject to agreeing a payment plan with AHDB for any outstanding levy invoice(s).

The outcome of the ballot will go to Defra Ministers for a final decision. Ministers are not bound by the result and the decision on whether or not to continue a levy rests with Ministers.

Further information on the ballot

Horticulture & Potatoes Future Statutory Levy Working Group

At the weekend the Horticulture Future Statutory Levy Working Group which comprises the following list of growers issued the following statement:

• Philip Pearson, APS Produce Ltd (Protected Edibles)
• Marion Regan, Hugh Lowe Farms (Soft fruit)
• Martin Emmett, Walberton Nursery LLP, Binsted Nursery LLP, Fleurie Nursery Limited (Ornamentals)
• Sophie Bambridge, B & C Farming Ltd (Potatoes)
• James Harrison, EG Harrison & Co. (Potatoes)
• Tom Hulme, AC Hulme & Sons (Tree Fruit)
• Martin Evans, Fresh Growers Ltd (Field Vegetables)
• John Shropshire, Cambs Farms Growers Ltd (Field Vegetables)
• Derek Wilkinson, Sandfields Farm Ltd (Field Vegetables)
• Philip Morley, British Tomato Growers’ Association / APS Produce Ltd (Protected Edibles

The Horticulture & Potatoes Future Statutory Levy Working Group has been established voluntarily by businesses from within the UK Horticulture and Potato sectors to work together for the benefit of all levy paying businesses. We believe in the fairness and value of a statutory levy and that our industry should work collaboratively to achieve market-led innovation, near market applied R&D, increased productivity and a world class sustainable industry. The Group presents considered alternatives and draws inspiration from the successful levy models established in Australia and New Zealand.

The Group is developing a workable alternative to the current model, aiming to deliver better value for money and organisational and financial transparency for levy paying businesses and would welcome engagement with and contributions to this process from other levy payers. We have been in conversation with senior members of AHDB, including Chairman Nicholas Saphir, and commend the changes he is trying to make, especially the introduction of an automatic 5 yearly ballot. It is our belief that the proposed changes need to go further and faster.

Levy payers must ‘take back control’ of their investment funds and provide the strategic leadership within a lean and agile decision-making framework. The levy organisation should work to support this.

This will be achieved through:

• Root and branch reform of the existing levy organisation for Horticulture and Potatoes
• All levies raised, budgets and costs should be transparent to levy payers, regularly scrutinised and subject to Panel and Sector Board approval
• Overhaul of the governance of the existing levy organisation which should include a review of the Radcliffe Report and the previous constitutions of HDC and a commitment to a Sector Board and Panels for Horticulture
• More focus on levy funded near market R&D, supported by leveraged funding for strategic and fundamental science
• R&D reports online should be more easily accessible to all levy payers
• Market development should be nuanced after Panel consultation and only implemented for those sectors where it is required
• Co-funding mechanisms must be introduced and encouraged to secure additional funding from the whole supply chain, government, and research bodies. This will require entrepreneurism to
leverage these funding sources to complement and magnify levy payers’ funds

Aspects which will require a change in the Statutory Instrument:

• Levy is grower ‘investment’ not public money
• The levy collection and deduction system should reflect modern practices
• Levy paying members should nominate or elect their “Board” and “Panel” representatives ensuring accountability, budget control and sound strategy. They should not be appointed
• Levy payments should receive R&D tax relief / credits in line with private investment. The outcome of the changes being proposed will be a grower-led levy body serving levy payers through
proper governance and transparency. This will deliver a world leading, investor funded service which returns significant and measurable benefits to levy paying investors in a highly challenging and fast evolving primary food and plant production landscape.

The AHDB Strategy

And finally, … the AHDB Strategy is out for consultation. Here is the link to the online response option. The closing date is 31st January 2021.