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Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government’s policy is on encouraging applications by growers to be recognised as producer organisations for the purposes of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme. (252580)

The rural payments agency (RPA) publish comprehensive guidance about the scheme on their website, including information for prospective applicants. DEFRA, in conjunction with the devolved administrations and with the industry itself, has drawn up a national strategy in order to provide detailed advice that producer organisations (POs) can adopt with the aim of developing their businesses and gaining funding under the scheme. One of its aims is that this advice will encourage more growers to seek recognition under the scheme, either as new POs or as new members of existing ones. More generally, it is one of DEFRA’s aims to encourage greater collaboration across the food chain. We have commissioned English Farming and Food Partnerships to undertake work to promote awareness and interest in the scheme with a view to encouraging greater uptake.