Veg Power Seasonal Vegetable Campaign
Veg Power is planning a new seasonal veg campaign for 2021. In 2020, with a £20,000 grant from DEFRA, VegPpower launched a social media campaign to promote seasonal vegetables. The campaign was supported by 1,379 influencers including Jamie Oliver, Prue Leith, Ainsley Harriot, SORTED Food,
Change4Life and a legion of cooks, food writers, nutritionists and food lovers. Collectively the 2020 campaign reached 11.4 million people and a pre and post campaign survey carried out by You Gov showed a 2.2% increase in awareness of seasonality equating to 1.15m people.
The 2021 campaign, which launched in January, will continue the seasonal promotion with a 12-month programme of 38 featured veg weeks.
Eat Them to Defeat Them Campaign
Through the Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign, Veg Power is trying to engineer a significant and lasting shift in consumer behaviour. The campaign is a 10-year mission. It will require a sustained, large scale, whole sector approach involving Growers and Crop Associations, retailers, schools, nutrition organisations and social media influencers, particularly chefs and food writers to deliver effectively on its intended outcome which is to transform the UK into a nation of veg lovers.
The campaign will combine three main elements.
- Desire – making domestically produced in-season vegetables aspirational.
- Education – increasing awareness of the benefits of seasonal veg.
- Availability – increasing availability and promotion at point of retail purchase and food service consumption.
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At the end of February, British Growers attended a meeting with Defra and other organisations for an update on the seasonal worker situation. For the 2021 season the number of permits has been increased from 10,000 to 30,000. In addition to Concordia and Pro-Force, two more agencies have been added to list of agencies managing the seasonal worker permits. We expect details of these new agencies to be announced shortly.
Settled and pre settled status
Across the UK, 4 million EU citizens have applied for pre-settled or settle status. This will enable them to continue to work in the UK. The opportunity to apply for settled and pre-settled status is still open and the final date for applications will be 30 June 2021.
Metalaxyl and Tefluthrin
British Growers has written to Victoria Prentis, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Defra to draw her attention to the plans for the withdrawal of Metalaxyl and Tefluthrin and the impact the loss of these key crop protection products would have on the production of major field scale veg crops here in the UK.
Red Tractor Review and Vining Peas
We have submitted a proposal to the review of the Red Tractor standards asking for consideration of an option to register vining pea as part of the combinable crop scheme for those growers required to meet the Red Tractor standards by their processor / customer and whose only crop requiring registration under the produce assurance scheme is vining peas. The justification for the request is that in many cases the activities (with the exception of harvest and haulage) are compatible with combinable crop production.
Update on the Defra Environmental Land Management Scheme
With effect from 2021 money will be transferred from the current Basic Payment Scheme and transferred to the new Environmental Land Management Scheme ELMS (public money for public goods). By 2024 50% of the Basic Payment Scheme funding will be transferred to ELMS and a new productivity scheme.
Although horticulture is not a big beneficiary of the scheme, for growers who combine fresh produce with other arable or grassland operations, the impact will be significant. So, the launch of the initial stages of the new ELM Scheme including an invitation to take part in the first phase of the Sustainable Farming Incentive Scheme pilot may be of interest to growers looking to fund the delivery of public goods with public funding.
More details of the scheme can be found here.