Serious problems continue to plague the fresh produce supply chain which may force growers to reduce the amount they produce, an NFU report being launched today will say.
NFU horticulture board chairman Guy Poskitt will unveil Catalyst Revisited, an update to the NFU’s ground-breaking Catalyst for Change report, launched three years ago, which highlighted a culture of poor practice in the fresh produce supply chain and set a blueprint for best practice.
Mr Poskitt will say that although progress has been made against the report’s initial recommendations in 2012, growers say they face a culture of intense price pressure and competition for market share.
Ahead of his speech, Mr Poskitt said: “A lot of progress has been made since we launched Catalyst for Change three years ago; Aldi has become the first retailer to endorse the NFU’s Fruit and Veg Pledge – our charter for best practice in the supply chain; there are some encouraging signals from other retailers seeking a longer-term deal with suppliers; and the Groceries Code Adjudicator is proving effective in curbing abuses of the Grocery Supply Code of Practice.
“Yet, the job is far from done. Growers are fearful that, under intense price pressure and competition for market share, retailers are regressing to short-term thinking. All of the recommendations we made in 2012 still apply today – and are captured by our Fruit and Veg Pledge.
“The supply chain now faces a choice. Growers have the choice to grow less produce to manage their exposure to risk; retailers have the choice to do things differently, and we’d like them to choose to pledge their longer term commitment to British horticulture by signing up to the NFU’s Fruit and Veg Pledge and be part of the sector’s success as it fulfils its great, and growing, potential.”