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Group Marketing Grant

Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 3 March 1992

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the group marketing grant.

The scheme will fall into two phases. In the first, farmers, growers and other producers will be able to carry out a feasibility study, which will need to demonstrate that the proposal has long-term benefits to producers, and is a viable proposition.With the aid of the feasibility study applicants will be able to apply for the second phase, of grant for developing existing groups or starting up new ones. Under this second phase aid is available for legal costs, salaries of key staff, training and expenses of outside directors. The maximum grant per group will be £107,000.This scheme has been designed expressly to help producers respond to the shortcomings perceived by supermarkets and other big buyers. It will encourage producers to come together in large professionally managed groups, so that they have the confidence and the clout to deal with retailers on equal terms. Producers will be able to choose the format which suits their enterprise—the scheme will not be limited to cooperatives.The scheme has been drawn up by MAFF after full consultation with the industry. It will be administered by MAFF with the advice of "Food from Britain."