Government u-turn on fruit and veg strategy "betrayal" for farmers
The Soil Association has slammed a government u-turn, as they cancel their pledge to produce a horticulture strategy.
Farm Minister Mark Spencer MP confirmed the move in a recent Parliamentary Question. Defra had previously committed to producing the strategy with the sector to support the production of British-grown goods such as salad, fruit and vegetables, as part of the Government’s food strategy.
This news has come amid multiple serious issues for the sector, including the rising price of fuel and electricity and labour shortages. These issues have affected supplies, left shelves barren, and denying British shoppers access to healthy food.
Soil Association Head of Food Policy Rob Percival has been following the policy announcements. He said: “U-turning on the commitment to fix our broken food system with a horticulture strategy is a betrayal of both British growers and shoppers.
“Our shoppers are facing empty shelves, whilst our farmers and growers are struggling with fuel and electricity costs, labour shortages and dangerously low profits, and many are considering throwing in the towel.
“Droughts overseas and a delayed growing season in the UK threaten major food shortages. If we don’t act, things could get worse.
“These problems are solvable – we want to see UK fruit and veg production doubled to support British growers and healthy diets.
“To do that we need policy that joins the dots between these issues, which the government is refusing to do.”
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