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Is Collaboration Key to Unlocking Fruit and Veg Potential?

30 April 2014

UK - NFU President Meurig Raymond will today (Wednesday) explain how retailers and the Government are crucial to ensuring we have a profitable and sustainable horticulture sector in the UK.

Speaking at the Fresh Produce Journal Live event Mr Raymond will urge Government to put productive agriculture and horticulture at the core of all its policies.

At the same time, Mr Raymond will encourage more retailers to change the way they work with their suppliers - following Tesco’s announcement earlier this year to strengthen its relationships with fresh produce suppliers.

“At our AGM in February, after almost two years of lobbying, Tesco became the first retailer to announce plans to develop contracts with its fresh produce suppliers. This is a massive milestone for the horticulture sector,” he will say.

“However, despite the positive steps from some in the food chain, our leading supermarket chains remain ultra-competitive when it comes to footfall. What seems to be emerging is a renewed round of price cuts and promotions. My fear is that this materialises into downward pressure on margins across the UK supply chain.”

The NFU President will highlight how many growers feel they are in a ‘perilous’ position, but how the industry can take advantage of rising consumer demand for British produce, the need to take advantage of unexploited export potential – and the important role Government policy plays in enabling productive horticulture.

“With the right policy solutions at an EU and UK Government level and some collaborative supply chain strategies, British growers will be able to grow, compete and above all be profitable producers of food to meet the ever increasing demands of out consumers,” Mr Raymond will add.

TheCropSite News Desk

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