UK horticulture sector warns House of Lords of market failure

Market failure is an issue for fruit and vegetables, with disparities between what the shopper is paying and farmgate prices, Ali Capper told a House of Lords horticultural sector committee.

Ms. Capper, chairwoman of British Apples and Pears, who also sits on the NFU Horticulture Board, said this issue deserves attention from the government. An imbalance of power between major retailers and producers, rising costs, and labor issues were all outlined as major challenges facing the UK horticultural sector at the hearing on April 20.

The House of Lords committee is looking into the challenges facing the horticultural sector, as well as ways to support it, with chairman Lord Redesdale due to publish a report on it later this year.

According to Jack Ward, chief executive of the British Growers Association, said there’s insufficient money across the supply chain to cover cost increases, and many growers are scaling back production.

The UK produces 2 billion apples each year, according to Ms. Capper, which is only enough for 30 apples per person. UK apples account for 40% of all apples sold at retail in the UK. However, with support, this figure could be closer to 60%.


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