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Call for north-east farmers to complete Fresh Produce Consultation

By David Porter

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Defra is undertaking a major consultation into contractual relationships in the fresh produce sector and NFU Scotland is urging local growers to take part.

NFU Scotland’s Horticultural chair Iain Brown
NFU Scotland’s Horticultural chair Iain Brown

This latest Defra consultation follows on from similar examinations of the pig and dairy sectors and is part of a UK Government commitment to review supply chain practices.

The consultation will gather evidence from individual businesses about how supply arrangements in the fresh produce sector currently function and explore the nature of relationships in the supply chain. It is also seeking views on whether the functioning of the supply chain can be improved.

It is available to complete online.

NFU Scotland’s Horticultural chair Iain Brown said: “I welcome a review of the contractual arrangements in the fresh produce sector.

"It must put in place regulation for a fairer deal for growers including a mutually agreed pricing mechanism, rules to prevent avoidance of agreed contracts and a ban on below cost selling similar to that already in place in some parts of the EU.”

NFU Scotland Head of Policy Team Gemma Cooper added: “This is a UK consultation, but it is hugely important that Scottish growers are well represented.

"The structure of the consultation is designed for individual businesses to respond, and we urge any Scottish fresh produce grower to take part and give their views.”

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