Have your say on fairness in the fresh produce supply chain

Tomatoes in a glasshouse

Defra has launched a long-awaited review aimed at increasing fairness in the fresh produce supply chain.

One of the actions from the NFU-won Farm to Fork Summit at Number Ten in May, the government says the review exercise will ‘support British farmers and growers to receive a fair price for their products’ and help to ‘ensure customers have access to high-quality fresh British products’.

It follows similar work in the milk and pork sectors and the current egg supply chain review.

The probe will seek industry feedback on issues including the fairness of contracts between producers and purchasers, whether there is a need for extra legislation to oversee those relationships, and how supply chain data can be used to support transparency in negotiation processes.

It runs for ten weeks, until 22 February and the NFU will draw on member feedback to make a full response. Find out more at: GOV.UK | Contractual relationships in the UK fresh produce industry.

Review is ‘best chance’ of enacting change

Horticulture Board chair Martin Emmett said: “In a year where we’ve seen shortages of fresh produce on supermarket shelves and continued spiralling costs of production, the message from growers has been very clear – the horticulture supply chain must have fairer relationships that share the risk and reward.

“We’re working closely with members to understand what they need to ensure that their businesses are resilient for the future and that they have the confidence to produce fruit, vegetables and plants for the nation. It’s already clear that relationships within the supply chain and retailer behaviours are high on the list.

“I urge all growers to have their say in this government consultation to give us the best chance of enacting much-needed change, including those growers of plants and flowers that supply the major grocery retailers. ”

Defra Secretary of State Steve Barclay said: “I’m committed to backing British farmers and growers, and it’s only right that producers should be paid a fair price.

Martin Emmett Binsted Nurseries

I urge all growers to have their say in this government consultation to give us the best chance of enacting much-needed change.”

NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair Martin Emmett

“This review will help ensure that is the case, as well as delivering on our commitments from the Farm to Fork Summit to provide greater stability and resilience for the fresh produce sector.”

Echoing NFU evidence during recent years, the review was launched with a recognition of ‘challenges in the sector including increased energy, fuel and labour costs’.

This page was first published on 15 December 2023. It was updated on 30 January 2024.

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