British Berry Growers campaigning and policy objectives.
The future British berry industry faces many challenges, including rising costs and high labour turnover, competition from abroad, and a lack of government investment in robust technology to support the long-term success of the sector.
British Berry Growers is committed to working with ministers, government departments, retailers, and other major stakeholders to implement a long-term strategy to provide security for British growers and lasting benefits for markets and the rural economy.
Our Campaign and Policy Board is chaired by Anthea McIntyre CBE. Anthea was a Member of the European Parliament for eight years, serving on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee where she specialised in horticulture and authored several reports.
The Campaign and Policy Board is initially working on six priority areas:
We are calling for an extension of the current seasonal workers visa to nine months to better reflect the actual harvest season and for growers who hold a GLAA license to directly recruit and manage their own workforce.
We are calling for an extension of the existing RPA (Rural Payment Agency) scheme to ensure our growers get fair remuneration packages, filling the gaps in existing grant schemes.
We are calling for a robust national planning framework to bring consistency to the consideration of planning applications across the country and to provide a guide to local authorities and planning professionals, enabling the rapid approval of compliant developments across UK farms.
We will continue to raise awareness of the economic challenges faced by British growers up and down the country, and work with central government and retailers to implement a plan that guarantees long term security for British growers.
We are calling for retailers to sign-up to a Growers Charter which will bring certainty to the grower-retailer relationship. This will include a retail commitment to security of supply and deliver the growers’ commitment to effect programme deliveries.
We are calling for an agile and more responsive approval process for berry exports which will allow British growers to compete with their EU counterparts. We will work with DEFRA to devise an effective export system that works for all.
British Berry Growers has submitted three pieces of written evidence to various government inquiries. They can be viewed below: