Defra's refusal to award compensation for Russia import ban "a slap in the face" for UK growers

UK growers will not be eligible for compensation for the consequences of Russia's fresh produce imports ban, the government has confirmed.

Unpicked fruit - image:Mac Armstrong
Unpicked fruit - image:Mac Armstrong

In a letter to the NFU, Defra officials stated: "Ministers do not believe that destroying edible UK produce would be an acceptable use of public money."

Under a revised EU compensation scheme announced last month, UK growers would have been eligible for compensation of up to 3,000 tonnes of produce sales lost as an indirect consequence of the ban.

NFU chief horticulture and potatoes adviser Chris Hartfield said Defra's reasoning as "totally flawed", saying: "The amount of aid on offer was not sufficient to encourage growers to destroy produce that they would have otherwise sold.  

"Some UK growers, like others in the EU, have had no choice but to destroy produce because there is no longer a buyer and a market for it – the aid package would have simply helped minimise their losses."

Horticulture and Potatoes Board chairman Guy Poskitt added: "This feels like a slap in the face.

"Ministers have again denied UK producers the opportunity to take up aid which is otherwise being snapped up by our European neighbours. How can we compete against imports when we are consistently facing an uneven playing field?"

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon