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British Growers

The UK to host III International Symposium on Carrot and other Apiaceae

By Company News

The UK has successfully won the bid to host the ISHS International Symposium on Carrot and other Apiaceae in 2021.

The third event of its kind will take place in the historic city of York, close to one of the main carrot growing areas, and will attract delegates from across the globe. British Growers Association tendered to host the Symposium on behalf of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), with support from Warwick University and Elsoms.

“We are very pleased that the UK has been given the opportunity to host this prestigious event, the event will be one not to be missed. We will have the platform to showcase the fantastic research that our Universities, Research Organisations and growers are involved in”

Jack Ward, CEO British Growers Association

The event will be held over 4 days, starting on Monday 4th October and finishing on Thursday 7th October 2021. The Symposium will involve a series of symposium sessions and seminars held at the York Racecourse, a Gala dinner held in the historic York Railway Museum and the opportunity to visit the British Carrot Growers Association and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Demonstration Day.

The 2021 Symposium will bring together the most recent scientific findings and technical advances to the Carrot and Apiaceae community. The Scientific Committee, led by Rosemary Collier of Warwick University, will shape the programme of events for the 2 days of seminars.

“Our UK Symposium will build on the excellent precedents set by the two very successful previous Symposia in Poland and France.  It’s an exciting opportunity to focus on a family of crops that have a key role in international diets and cuisine and to interact with experts on technical and scientific issues.  The historical city of York has many attractions for visitors and is a great venue for the Symposium.”

Professor Rosemary Collier, Warwick University

British Growers are pleased to announce that the platinum symposium sponsors of the 2021 Symposium will be Elsoms and Bejo.

“Elsoms and Bejo are delighted to be the lead sponsors of the 3rd International Apiaceae (carrot) symposium and we are thrilled that it is being held in the UK. This event is a great opportunity for all those involved in these crops to meet up, network and hear about activities, both practical, near market, and, more strategic and far reaching, from around the world.

The UK is a fantastic place to hold this event. High product specifications and the year-round supply demands from the market place ensure that crop quality is key with production being driven by technology in the field and packhouse: UK producers are amongst the leaders in the world. The UK also has a strong voice in horticulture science and technology, with internationally recognised research institutes such as Warwick University, the internationally renowned Wellesbourne genetics resources and the plethora of outstanding UK research establishments, all of whom contribute to adoption of sciences into the industry for its continued success”

Robin Wood, Deputy Chairman, Elsoms

The Symposium visitors will have the opportunity to visit the British Carrot Growers Association and AHDB Demonstration Day. A long running successful event that showcases the best in new varieties from the UK and across the world.

Despite the current restrictions in the UK surround covid-19, the 2021 symposium at this stage is still going ahead. Sponsorship and Exhibition opportunities are available on the website or by emailing Info@carrotsymposium.com. Ticket sales will be available from the website www.carrotsymposium.com. To find out more, please contact the British Growers office on 01507 602427 or Info@carrotsymposium.com

 

       

British Growers News Update: COVID Winter Guidance

By Company News

COVID Winter Response Guidance for Food, Horticulture and Agriculture

 

Information on the next phase of the COVID 19 pandemic is starting to emerge and there is every indication that the autumn and winter could be as challenging as the last 6 months.

 

British Growers has agreed to join a collaboration of retailers, suppliers and industry experts to work with government and public health officials to provide information and guidance for growers about managing the COVID 19 pandemic through the autumn and winter. The project will deliver free access to pragmatic guidance, tools, webinars and regular updates through the winter period.

 

This initiative is designed to complement the latest government information by providing practical step by step information on how businesses can manage different situations by sharing real life experiences, policies and procedures and by signposting to relevant information and guidance.

 

The guidance will take businesses through the practical steps needed to comply with the government and public health guidance and to manage:

 

  • COVID on a day to day basis at the site level
  • Virus outbreaks
  • Track & Trace (as per devolved governments)
  • Serious illness and death of workers from COVID on site
  • Managing Return to Work
  • All regulatory bodies relevant – HSE, PHE, PHW, PHS, PHNI, Directors of Public Health, Local Council Teams in Public Health, Track and Trace (as per devolved governments)
  • Engagement with customers
  • Direct feedback from workers on their perspective on the COVID crisis and working through the crisis

 

 

There will be a special COVID 19 Winter Response event for growers, farmers and packhouses on 16th September 2020 – 11am – 1pm. To participate in the event please follow this link.

New Client at British Growers

By Company News

We are extremely proud to announce that International Plant Propagators Society (Europe) has chosen to join British Growers for the provision of their business services.

Starting in North America in the 1950s, IPPS has had a regional branch in Europe since 1968 when the Great Britain and Ireland Region began. A Scandinavian Region followed in 1992. The two later merged and became IPPS European Region in 2014 and have members now in most European countries.

IPPS is now a global network of plant production professionals, with over 1600 members and in all sectors of plant production, from primary producers to research professionals. Their motto is to “seek and share” information with likeminded professionals and aims to improve the knowledge, skills and professionalism of its members. The network puts members in touch with people working in plant production, research, botanic gardens and education in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Southern Africa and North America; and their unique archive of technical presentations at conferences in all their regional branches, going back more than 50 years, is available to all members.

Please click the link to discover more about IPPS.

Tim Lawrance-Owen from IPPS Europe and an IPPS International Board Director commented on joining British Growers:

“The European Region of the IPPS (International Plant Propagators’ Society) who join to seek and share plant production knowledge worldwide, was seeking to appoint a new Secretary to administer their affairs. Historically one person has undertaken this, with Board members giving their time to help. British Growers Association was recommended to us as having all the facilities required led by a team of experts in administration, finance and communication. The transition to British Growers has been a pleasure facilitated by the team allocated to us. The contact has been very friendly, helpful and understanding, all done under ‘lockdown’. We are relieved to know that the British Growers has the capacity to help us for many years, giving much needed continuity! “

And at British Growers Pauline Sutton, Crop Association Executive, remarked:
“I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with IPPS as their Client Manager. It has been a pleasure engaging with Tim and his colleagues during the transition and look forward to a prosperous relationship.”

British Growers News Update: National Food Strategy

By Company News

The National Food Strategy

In October 2019 British Growers submitted evidence to the National Food Strategy. Part One of the strategy was published at the end of July and the following is a very brief summary of the key points.

The actual report extends to 86 pages and can be accessed through this link

The National Food Strategy – Part One

Our food system has just endured its biggest stress test since the Second World War. As COVID-19 swept through the UK, the entire machinery of supply and distribution had to be recalibrated, fast. The fact that, after a wobbly start, there were no serious food shortages is a testament to the flexibility and entrepreneurialism of so many food businesses, and the resilience of the food system.

The report’s recommendations cover 2 main themes:

1 Making sure a generation of our most disadvantaged children do not get left behind.

The key recommendation here is an expansion of the eligibility for the Free School Meal scheme to include every child (up to the age of 16) from a household where the parent or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit (or equivalent benefits).

There is an interesting potential spin off for the fresh produce sector here. At the end of July, the CEOs of the Co-op and Waitrose agreed, in principle, to supplement the Healthy Start voucher scheme with additional free fruit and vegetables. Most of the other major supermarkets and convenience stores are keen to follow suit.

2 Determining our future trading relationships and grasping the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to decide what kind of trading nation we want to be.

The report recognises that UK farmers and food producers have some of the highest environmental and animal welfare standards in the world. And accepts the justifiable concern about opening up UK markets to cheaper, low-standard imports which would undercut UK producers and make a nonsense of our progressive farming policies.

The introduction of a new and enlightened agricultural system here in the UK will only work if future trading arrangements reflect the same values. Otherwise, businesses and consumers may simply replace food produced in this country to high ethical standards with cheaper imported food produced at lower standards. This would make the whole future farming programme a charade.

The report recommends that the Government should only agree to cut tariffs in new trade deals on products which meet our core standards.

The Government should establish verification programmes – along the lines of those currently operated by the US Department of Agriculture to enable American farmers to sell non-hormone-treated beef to the EU – so that producers wishing to sell into the UK market can, and must, prove they meet these minimum standards.

These certification schemes should not only cover animal welfare but also environmental and climate protections where the impact of a particular product is severe.

Using similar mechanisms to the US, it would be possible, wherever the two sets of standards diverge significantly, to create tailored certification systems to ensure that food imports into this country meet the same standards we set for the UK’s domestic products.

What is still to come?

“The way we produce our food is the mother of all sustainability issues”.

Part Two of this report will cover the history and effects of the ‘Green Revolution’ which heralded the dawn of modern intensive farming and using selectively bred crops alongside fertilisers, pesticides and advanced farm machinery to massively increase the amount of food that could be produced from the land.

What began as a response to the threat of starvation is now considered disastrous for the environment. The global food system is responsible for an estimated 20-30% of total greenhouse gas emissions. It occupies half the world’s habitable land, uses 70% of the freshwater we consume, causes three quarters of all water pollution, and is the single biggest contributor to biodiversity loss.

Th second part of the strategy will also look at the issue of self-sufficiency and ask if there an optimal percentage number that we should be targeting, whether in aggregate or varying across the seasons and for different foodstuffs?

The basic premise is that things should be produced where they cost the least. But we need to understand these costs not just in terms of pounds, euros or dollars, but in terms of carbon emissions, biodiversity losses or the exhaustion of scarce water resources.

Part 2 of the strategy will be published in 2021.

 

British Growers

British Growers Association is a grower owned, grower led, not for profit umbrella group comprising a range of organisations operating in the UK horticulture industry and fresh produce sector. The membership includes Crop Associations, Producer Organisations, marketing groups and professional membership groups.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this newsletter or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Jack Ward                         Chief Executive                                07799 75778

Lisa Eagles                        Operations Director                        07909 331907

Coral Russell                     Crop Association Executive             07881 295616

Pauline Sutton                  Crop Association Executive             07990 010437

British Growers News Update: Government’s Obesity Strategy

By Company News

National Food Strategy Part One

 

Part one of the National Food Strategy independent review, led by Henry Dimbleby has been published. The report – a response to COVID-19 – will look at what the crisis has revealed in our food system, and how it has changed it. It will set out both some principles for recovery and some immediate actions that they think government should take. The report will focus on some key themes: poverty, heath, food security and trade.

Full details of this report.

 

Government’s Obesity Strategy

The governments new obesity strategy was unveiled on 27th July as the country is urged to lose weight to beat the coronavirus and protect the NHS.

A raft of measures have been revealed as part of the government’s new obesity strategy to get the nation fit and healthy. Full details of this report can be found by clicking this link.

The strategy outlines a new package of measures and ‘Better Health’ campaign to help people lose weight, including: –

  • Ban on TV and online adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt before 9pm
  • End of deals like ‘buy one get one free’ on unhealthy food high in salt, sugar and fat
  • Calories to be displayed on menus to help people make healthier choices when eating out – while alcoholic drinks could soon have to list hidden ‘liquid calories’
  • New campaign to help people lose weight, get active and eat better after COVID-19 ‘wake-up call’

 

Veg Power

 

The Veg Power campaign has now reached 11 million people via social media. The DEFRA funded Seasonal Veg campaign is now in its last week (w/c 27th July). The latest report from the campaign has been sent with the newsletter.

Going forward Veg Power will keep featuring seasonal veg each week and will continue momentum behind the hashtag (#SeasonalVeg)

Anyone who would like to support the campaign with content or on social media please email Dan Parker.

 

Fruit and Veg for Children

 

Health campaigners are celebrating after securing the government’s word to reinstate the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme in September. The scheme provides free fruit and veg to Reception and Year One pupils.

 

Covent Garden

 

All customers and visitors to New Covent Garden Market will be required to wear a face mask or covering from Friday, 24 July. Face coverings will need to be worn in any indoor area, including the Flower Market and Buyers’ Walk in the Fruit and Vegetable Market.

This change is being introduced to protect everyone who works at or visits the market and is in line with recently updated government guidance.

 

Veg sales up

 

Waitrose has predicted a bumper summer for vegan and vegetarian food sales in a further boost to the fresh produce category.

The supermarket said it has seen vegan and veggie barbecue food sales soar by 80 per cent in preparation for the anticipated heatwave this weekend.

Waitrose expects to sell more meat-free barbecue products than ever before this summer and has already seen searches for ‘Vegan BBQ’ on Waitrose.com increase by 26 per cent in the last month. This coupled with the increase in searches of ‘Vegetarian BBQ’ by 32 per cent, highlights the continued rise in the UK’s appetite for plant-based produce, according to the retailer.

Among the products in strong growth, sales of Vegan Spanish Style Whirls are up by 80, per cent, Vegan Mushroom & Leek Bangers are up 157 per cent and Vegan Jackfruit Burgers have risen 17 per cent within the last year.

Sales of large veg, ideal for grills and barbecues, such as corn on the cob and flat mushrooms, have also seen spectacular increases, with sales soaring by 163 and 111 per cent respectively. Courgettes have also risen by 129 per cent and broccoli is up 128 per cent as shoppers look to get plenty of greens on the grill.

 

Immigration rules

Last week, the Home Office published further details on the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System. The document builds on the Policy Statement which was published in February by providing more detail to applicants, employers and educational institutions on the draft requirements and conditions underpinning the key immigration routes in the Points-Based System. For more information visit

 

Greening

The UK government plans to simplify the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and cut red tape faced by farmers during the agricultural transition period. This follows from EU delivered Farmers will have a reduced administrative burden and will no longer have to comply with the so-called greening requirements with effect from the 2021 scheme year.

These changes will not affect the overall payment received by each farmer as the money will instead be added to farmers’ entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme.

The agricultural transition period will last for seven years and see Direct Payments to farmers in England phased out and replaced with a new system that rewards farmers for delivering public goods, such as tree or hedge planting, river management to mitigate flooding, or creating or restoring habitats for wildlife. The new Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMS) is expected to be rolled out in late 2024.

 

British Growers

British Growers Association is a grower owned, grower led, not for profit umbrella group comprising a range of organisations operating in the UK horticulture industry and fresh produce sector. The membership includes Crop Associations, Producer Organisations, marketing groups and professional membership groups.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this newsletter or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Jack Ward                           Chief Executive                                 07799 75778

Lisa Eagles                          Operations Director                         07909 331907

Coral Russell                       Crop Association Executive             07881 295616

Pauline Sutton                    Crop Association Executive             07990 010437

British Growers News Update: FareShare

By Company News

COVID 19 Outbreak

The press has widely reported an outbreak of COVID 19 on a farm in the West Midlands. British Growers has been in touch with Defra about the outbreak. Public Health England supported by other agencies is conducting a detailed investigation. This investigation will also take on board any relevant outcomes from the recent outbreak at a meat processing plant. The authorities are keen to understand if there are any lessons to be learned and whether the current guidance for food producers needs to updated.

In the meantime the recommendation is to rely on the current guidance which can be found on the AHDB website

Further advice on the actions to take where there is outbreak of COVID-19 on farm and a local lockdown is available from the NFU

This is the first major COVID incident involving a UK farm. It is worth noting that there have been outbreaks on fresh produce operations in Spain near the city of Lleida. Of the 14 recent outbreaks in the region and ten have been traced to infections among seasonal fruit pickers.

These incidents highlight the dangers which COVID 19 still presents despite the gradual lifting of the restrictions for the general population.

 

Are you interested in shaping the new Environmental Land Management Scheme for the benefit of the fresh produce sector?

Would you like the industry to be rewarded for actions which benefit the environment?

Do you have creative ideas for how a payment scheme would make sustainable horticulture worthwhile?

This is your chance to help shape the way environmental good practice is rewarded by Defra in the future.

Defra has given the sector an opportunity to design and test how a horticulturally orientated land management scheme could run, starting in July 2020. This will be part of their Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) Tests and Trials programme. Over the next fifteen months, a specialist group will be working with growers from to decide how best to operate a new scheme.

The group is looking for large, medium and small-scale fruit and vegetable growers and protected edible producers. The group is looking for a blend of growers including those with limited experience of environmental issues and those with a long history of taking environmental action in their business.

Participating growers will be paid £150/day, for 3-7 days of involvement with the testing methods. This will include giving feedback and comparing different ways of receiving advice. Participants will also have input into the development of the new payment scheme that will replace BPS.

The overall aim of the trial is to develop the best and most appropriate way to reward fruit and vegetable producers who are already growing in ways which benefit the environment and encourage all growers to further improve their environmental land management.

If anyone is interested and wants more information, please get in touch with jack.ward@britishgrowers.org and we can provide more information about what is involved.

 

FareShare

FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, taking edible surplus food from more than 600 food businesses, including major brands and retailers, and redistributing it to vulnerable people through a UK-wide network of 11,000 frontline charities.

The FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund – available to all food suppliers and growers – aims to offset additional costs incurred by companies when diverting their edible surplus food to charities and community groups. The fund is open to new companies, as well as companies which already work with FareShare. The Fund can be used to unlock harder to reach surplus food, or surplus food that’s further up the supply chain. So far, the Fund has assisted organisations from farms to manufacturers – to redistribute 4,447 additional tonnes of food – enough to provide 10,589,378 meals. Companies could be eligible for grants of up to £50,000. This could be used to cover: additional staff costs needed for packing and sorting, building, implementing and managing new processes, packaging and transportation costs, or lost income from the sale of surplus to animal feed or anaerobic digestion.

Find out more: www.fareshare.org.uk/surplus , contact FareShare on 020 7064 8911 foodoffers@fareshare.org.uk

British Growers News Update

By Industry News

New Flexible Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is changing to allow flexible furloughing from 1st July. As the scheme progresses, it will also involve greater contributions from employers before closing in October. This is an overview of how the scheme will change from 1st July and is based on HMRC’s guidance.

Flexible furlough

  • From 1st July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work on any working pattern whilst still being able to claim for hours not worked below their regular hours
  • If claiming in advance, employers will need to give the exact number of hours an employee will work during the claim period and will need to pay back some of the grant to HMRC if an employee works for longer than this
  • Employers can also continue to furlough employees full-time, so long as they have completed a 3-week or longer furlough prior to 1st July (see below)

Closure of scheme to new entrants

  • Only those who have been furloughed for a 3-week or longer period by 30th June can continue to be furloughed or be re-furloughed on either a full-time or flexible basis
  • This means that an employee must have been furloughed by 10th June at the latest to qualify
  • The only exception is for those returning from statutory parental leave after the 10th June, providing (a) the employee has been included in a HMRC RTI submission prior to 19th March 2020 and (b) the employer has already made a CJRS claim for at least one other employee)
  • The total number of employees claimed for in a CJRS grant from 1st July cannot exceed the highest total number of employees in any claim prior to 1st July.

 

Bounce back scheme

A ‘bounce back’ plan of trade measures for the agriculture, food and drink industry has been announced to support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus.

The agriculture, food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing industry and plays a vital role in the UK’s food supply chain. It contributed £121 billion to the UK economy in 2018 and provided around 4 million jobs.

The new measures will support producers, manufacturers and agri-tech companies across the food supply chain, from farm to fork, and has been developed with insight from a wide range of stakeholders.

Sections of the UK agriculture, food and drink industry have been significantly impacted by Coronavirus. Although they have done well to adapt, exports have been hit and the Government is committed to supporting the food industry to get back into international markets and start growing market share once again.

For more information https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bounce-back-plan-for-agriculture-food-and-drink-industry-launched

 

COVID 19 shopping habits – demand for frozen food up 32%

New figures from Nielsen show sales at convenience stores rose by 17 per cent in the four weeks to 13 June. Demand for convenience shopping outpaced overall total till sales in the grocery market (14 per cent) during the same period.

The figures show that overall sales at bricks and mortar grocery retailers grew by six per cent, but online sales grew 115 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Over the last 12 weeks, Iceland (+23 per cent) has outperformed all other major UK grocery retailers, following growth from its new Food Warehouse stores, as well as the surge in consumer demand for frozen foods, which grew by 32 per cent across the industry in the last four weeks.

Sales at the Co-op (+16 per cent) also grew faster than the big-four major UK supermarkets, as shoppers continue to find it convenient to do a larger shop at a local convenience store.

 

Grants of between £500 and £25,000 available to help farmers recover from February floods

A £6 million fund to support farmers seriously affected by February’s floods opened for applications on 18 June.

Eligible farmers and landowners in parts of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire and North and East Yorkshire can apply for between £500 and £25,000 under the Farming Recovery Fund to support their recovery efforts.

These grants follow earlier rounds of funding for those affected in the July 2019 and November 2019 floods, bringing the total pot of funding to £10 million.

The Rural Payments Agency has introduced a simplified online portal for the latest round of applications to make it easier for farmers to apply.

For further details about the scheme and information on how to access the funding

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/farming-recovery-fund-extension-2020

Seasonal Veg Campaign

By Uncategorized

SEASONAL VEG CAMPAIGN – PLEASE HELP


With schools, restaurants, and hotels closed good local seasonal vegetables destined for the food services sector is currently going to waste while other veg is in short supply or being imported.
Veg Power has been asked by the Cabinet Office and DEFRA to mobilise an army of food writers, chefs, nutritionists, and other food system influencers to advocate seasonal veg on their blogs, tweets and press activities.
Collectively that network of influencers will reach millions of UK shoppers, and by unifying the message around a simple hashtag (#SeasonalVeg) we can swing people’s choice towards the wonderful veg coming into season, support the frontline food heroes working hard to bring their crops to our tables and save tonnes of good food going to waste.
Seasonal Vegetables
The campaign will encourage all seasonal veg, but we have found that by having a hero veg each week we keep the campaign fresh and the support keeps rolling on. So, for this campaign:


What are we asking you to do?


We are keen to tell the story of these vegetables, to bring the fork a little closer to the farm and recognise the dedication growers are showing in these difficult times. We keen to share images from your farms – the first of the crops coming up for harvest and heading off to our stores, the people, the farms and the produce. We are trying to connect our audience to their food, to feel the passion and quality of in-season British vegetables.
• We keen to coordinate our efforts with relevant crop associations
• Collaborate to support any marketing you have planned
• Find one or two growers for each crop who can help us with a few pictures and stories
Please get in touch: Dan Parker, dan.parker@vegpower.org.uk 07801 550699

British Growers News Update: Covid-19/Veg Power

By Industry News

Quarantine Regulations

With effect from Monday 8th June anyone entering the UK (subject to lengthy list of exemptions) is required to self-isolate for 14 days. Among the list of exemption are seasonal workers who have an offer of employment for seasonal work to carry out specific activities in edible horticulture on a named farm. But even seasonal workers need to complete the Public Health passenger locator form before they travel to the UK and then immediately go to the farm where they are working. Seasonal workers can start work immediately but they must self-isolate on the farm for 14 days. They will then need to follow advice for seasonal agricultural workers coming to England to work on farms.

It’s worth noting that the regulations and exemptions will be reviewed every 21 days to ensure that they remain proportionate and are still justified by the best scientific evidence available.

For more advice on employment of seasonal worker visit.

2-metre social distancing

There is an ongoing debate within Govt about reducing the current 2m guidance on social distancing. Canada, Spain and the UK operate with 2m; Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands operate with 1.5m and Denmark, France and Singapore operate with 1m. Needless to say opinions within Govt are divided among between those that think the infection rate needs to be reduced further and those that argue to re-start the economy. There is nothing concrete to report other than it is under active discussion.

Test and trace

There has been a lot of concern within the wider food industry about the implications of the test and trace system and the impact of people self-isolating for 14 days if it can be evidenced that they have been in contact with someone carrying the virus. The potential for the test and trace system to shut down elements of the food industry can’t be ignored. If anyone has had a negative or positive experience of the test and trace system and want fed back to Govt, please get in touch.

There is an interesting qualification on the definition of contact with an infected person where Perspex screens are used. Where an interaction between 2 people has taken place through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen, this would not be considered sufficient contact, provided that there has been no other contact such as any of those indicated above. This is set out in the test and trace guidance document.

For more information on the test and trace requirements please visit.

 

Government Intervention in Trade Credit Insurance announced

The Govt has announced today that it will provide £10bn backing for the Trade Credit Insurance market via a reinsurance scheme. This requires businesses to buy cover from trade credit insurers as usual, and these insurers will then be able to buy cover for themselves from the Government. The scheme, which covers domestic trade, imports and exports, will be backdated to April 1 and will operate until the end of 2020.

For more information please visit.

 

Veg Power: Seasonal Veg promotion

With schools, restaurants, and hotels closed good local seasonal vegetables destined for the food services sector is currently going to waste while other veg is in short supply or being imported. Veg Power – Seasonal Veg Campaign – Request to Growers has been asked by the Cabinet Office and DEFRA to mobilise an army of food writers, chefs, nutritionists, and other food system influencers to advocate seasonal veg on their blogs, tweets and press activities.

 

What are we asking you to do?

We are keen to tell the story of these vegetables, to bring the fork a little closer to the farm and recognise the dedication growers are showing in these difficult times. We are keen to share images from your farms – the first of the crops coming up for harvest and heading off to our stores, the people, the farms and the produce. We are trying to connect our audience to their food, to feel the passion and quality of in-season British vegetables.

 

Veg Power – Seasonal Veg Campaign – Social Media Brief

Veg Power – Seasonal Veg Campaign – Request to Growers

NFU Petition on Food Standards

As the UK begins to negotiate trade deals with countries around the world, we need all our food to meet the UKs world leading quality standards that consumers have come to expect? Here is the link to the NFU Food standards petition which is calling on the UK government to ensure all food imports are produced to the same high standards required from British producers. Sign the petition.

 

Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme Update (CJRS)

 

On the 29th May the Chancellor announced details of the changes to the job retention scheme beyond June 2020.

 

Closure for new entrants

The Scheme will close completely to new entrants from 30th June. This means that the last possible date you can furlough a new entrant to the scheme is Wednesday 10th June. Although you can bring staff back and furlough them again, from 1st July you will only be able to furlough staff who have already been furloughed for at least three weeks prior to the 30th June.

 

Contribution from employers

Currently the Scheme covers 80% of wages, plus National Insurance and pension contributions. This is changing as follows:

 

June and July: The Government will continue to meet the cost of 80% wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer NI contributions and pension contributions to the auto enrolment minimum.

 

August: The Government will continue to meet the cost of 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but the employer will need to pay NI and pension contributions.

 

September: The Government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50, while the employer will need to pay 10% of wages plus NI and pension contributions.

 

October: The Government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875, while the employer will need to pay 20% of wages plus NI and pension contributions.

 

Pay received

The amount of pay received by staff on furlough will not change and will remain at 80% of normal pay for the remainder of the Scheme.

 

Flexible furlough

With effect from 1st July 2020 employers will be able to bring employees back to work on a part-time basis. The time employees are at home will be funded through the furlough scheme, while the time they are at work will need to be paid by the employer at their normal 100% pay rate.

For example, if someone normally works five days a week, they could be furloughed three days a week and be at work two days a week. For the three days they are at home, they will be paid at 80%, reclaimable from the Government through the Scheme. For the two days they are at work, they will be paid in full, funded entirely by the employer.

Employers will need to submit information through the HMRC portal outlining how many hours the employee would normally be expected to work and the actual hours they have worked, so that the correct amount of funding can be claimed.

 

More details about how flexible furlough scheme will work are going to be provided on Friday 12th June.

 

Scheme ending

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will end completely on 31st October 2020, which means employers relying on the funding will need to have made decisions about bringing staff back or made redundancies in plenty of time to have undertaken any consultation or other process necessary before this date.

 

For further information on the scheme please visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Growers Covid 19 update

By Industry News

Praise for the UK food industry

During questions to Defra ministers in the House of Commons yesterday, Defra Secretary of State Rt Hon George Eustice MP was keen to praise the efforts of the food supply chain over the last weeks to keep the nation fed. He remarked that “our food manufacturers increased output by some 50%”. He also said “the crisis has brought home the crucial importance of domestic food production. We are fortunate to have some of the most innovative food manufacturers and producers in the world, and I pay tribute to all they have done in recent months.”

Food Standards Agency guidance

This guidance from the FSA relates specifically to food production

Further guidance: although this guidance which is intended for use in factories, it has got some useful information about how to deal with potential COVID 19 risks in the workplace.

GLAA support for farms

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority has contacted agricultural labour sites across the south of England and Wales to offer support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Advice on how to spot the signs of labour exploitation and where to report concerns has been issued ahead of the GLAA visiting farms directly over upcoming weeks to give further guidance to the industry.

The engagement activity ties in with the temporary licensing scheme established by the GLAA for the food production sector in March, the agency said.

Temporary licences are currently being granted to businesses operating within the wider labour supply industry who wish to support GLAA licence holders to feed the nation.

Phase two of the operation will see GLAA investigators conduct welfare visits to ensure that farmers are getting the help that they need and that their workers are not at risk of exploitation.

Public Health Measures for all UK arrivals

On Friday, 22nd May, the Home Office announced border measures that will be applied to all international arrives from the 8th June and reviewed every 3 weeks. The reasoning behind the measures is to manage the risk of transmission being reintroduced from abroad to avoid a second wave of infection.

Alternative quarantine arrangements have been put int place in “recognition of the critical contribution seasonal agricultural workers in the edible horticulture sector make to the food supply chain and the time criticality of the picking season.” Full information on how these measures will work will be available shortly. In essence, during the first 14 days of a workers arrival, they will be able to work but they will be required to stay on the farm; there will be a set of defined exceptional circumstances available with the full guidance.

If you have any queries please direct them to accesstolabourfoodchain@defra.gov.uk .

Online Grocery sales up by 33%

The UK’s online grocery market will expand by a third in 2020, according to projections by Mintel, and will be worth £17.9 billion by 2024. Moreover, the changes to consumer behaviour brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, are likely to be long-lasting. UK consumers are expected set to spend £16.8 billion on internet groceries in 2020, up from £12.7bn in 2019. This comes after growth had been slowing down since 2015, reaching just 2.9% in 2019.

The Mintel survey was carried out between 28 February and 23 April and found that 36% of British consumers reported increasing their online shopping, with 50% trying to limit the time they spend in bricks-and-mortar stores and 9% using click-and-collect more frequently.

Amazon – Is this the next big disruptor in the grocery market

In the face of growing demand for online groceries, Amazon has announced plans to launch a super-fast delivery service of fresh products in the UK, reports The Grocer. The service will be free for Prime subscribers and is aimed at bringing rapid grocery delivery to nearly 40% cent of the country’s households by the end of 2020. The Ultra Fast grocery delivery service is already available to Prime members in the US.

Amazon is making this move at a time when the UK’s largest online grocer Ocado is reported to be struggling to open additional delivery slots due to unprecedented demand during the coronavirus lockdown and has been forced to limit delivery slots to existing customers only.

Could home delivery of fruit and veg become part of the new normal.

Source:- The Food Foundation

Stay safe in these difficult times.

British Growers Team