Ali Capper, newly appointed Chair of English Apples & Pears, has issued a clear call for Government action in a response to DEFRA’s Health & Harmony Consultation paper entitled ‘An Apple a Day’. The response lays out 12 actions that will directly impact on industry growth and highlights health and sustainability as key reasons for urgent Government support.
Orchard fruit has developed significantly over the last decade. Today 42% of all fresh apples and pears consumed in the UK are British. But the industry is not resting on its laurels and has ambitions to grow with its sights set on supplying well over 60% of eating apples to British consumers by 2030. However, without Government action in key areas the industry fears this will be challenging.
“The premise is simple – we are asking Government to urgently support policy and campaigns that will increase the consumption of British grown apples & pears. British orchards are capable of delivering public good – it’s good for the environment and the fruit produced is good for the nation’s health too,” said Capper.
“We’re ambitious to grow the size of the British crop. We know this is possible but we will need action in key areas in order to make this happen. In the current climate we fail to see how supporting the industry can be anything but positive.”
The 12-point plan calls for action across key areas including PO funding, immigration policies and match funded investment (Producer Organisation) productivity schemes.
Members of English Apples and Pears are throwing open their doors to Government in a bid to showcase the industry first hand.
“We’d welcome the opportunity to show Government representatives our best in class British orchards, so we’re offering an open invitation to visit our members’ orchards and sample our national fruit. The modern British orchard is highly productive and has potential to deliver extraordinary environment benefits too,” added Capper.
For further information please contact the EAP press office on 020 7554 4499 or email Robwaldon@rtc.london