Members of the fruit and vegetable industry have presented ideas for increasing production and consumption of fruit and vegetables in England.
The report, by the industry-led Fruit and Vegetable Task Force, includes proposals for action by industry, as well as ideas for the Government to consider. They identify four targets to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables:
- making produce more available and more convenient;
- providing value for money;
- maintaining a high standard of quality and taste; and
- building up a competitive supply base and an efficient supply chain.
Welcoming delivery of the Task Force’s report, Food Minister Jim Paice said:
'We produce some of the best fresh food that you can buy, right here in England. We can’t grow all the fruit and vegetables people want to eat, but increasing consumption and increasing home production is not just good for people’s health, it will develop the market opportunities and the confidence of our growers.
'It’s a Government priority to support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production, and I am grateful for the experience and insight of the Task Force in producing this report.'
The Task Force was asked to put forward practical proposals for action, their response focuses on:
- Removing regulation;
- Sustaining R&D capability;
- Improving skills and attracting new entrants in to the industry;
- Encouraging collaboration;
- Improving supply chain relationships;
- Expanding market opportunities;
- Improving existing Government behaviour change campaigns;
- Encouraging industry promotions;
- Aligning VAT with the 5 A Day objective; and
- Supporting Grow Your Own.
Defra will support the Fruit and Vegetable Task Force in developing its action plan. Defra will discuss with the relevant departments the Task Force’s proposals which concern other Government departments, taking into consideration wider policies and contexts including practicality and cost.
The industry-led Fruit and Vegetable Task Force was set up by Defra in October 2009. A full copy of the report is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/food/policy/partnership/fvtf/index.htm