Eustice speaks of Brexit opportunity at Westminster all-party horticulture group event

Defra minister George Eustice has told attendees of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Horticulture and Gardening annual reception that there is an "opportunity to recast our agricultural policy" to increase productivity and profitability.

He said EU subsidies had been "focussed around land ownership and large farms" with horticulture neglected.

The pro-Brexit campaigner added that he would like to see subsidies aimed towards "businesses that have got bright ideas", with the horticulture sector less likely to miss out.

Eustice said on training that big retailers and producers should be able to use some apprenticeship levy within the supply chain.

The former Writtle College student said the EU was "still our friend" and in areas such as plant breeders' rights and the Community Plant Variety Office, the UK "might want to remain an active partner".  He said: "It's important we don't kick the table over."

Eustice added that the Government would see 11 million trees planted during this Parliament.

The industry's rejigged Ornamental Horticulture Round Table Action Plan 2015-20 now has three aims: supporting the industry to grow, educating/training and securing our future workforce, and nurturing innovation.

The support 'ask' was for senior representation in Government and investment in the supply chain. This is to "grow import substitution and increase the revenue from our exported skills".

Training needs the Government to "commit to secure access to a sufficient labour force post-Brexit".

Although Eustice did not mention labour in his speech, it is a Defra priority.

The innovation ask was for investment in R&D.

Industry campaigners says the industry is "chronically undervalued and underdeveloped", "is ripe for serious growth" and could be worth £15bn by 2020 if Government departments join up to recognise the garden and landscape trade's worth.

See more in the next issue of Horticulture Week.


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

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

These shrubs or small trees produce mainly blue flowers and fantastic glossy leaves, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Moles

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Moles

Protect against root damage caused by tunnelling.

Nicotiana

Nicotiana

Very popular among experienced gardeners, these plants often give off a sweet fragrance, says Miranda Kimberley.


Production stars take innovation lead at UK Grower Awards and Garden Retail Awards

Production stars take innovation lead at UK Grower Awards and Garden Retail Awards

Over the past week it has been the great privilege of the Horticulture Week team to welcome more than 700 leading horticulture professionals to three great industry events - the Garden Retail Awards 2017, the UK Grower Awards 2017 and the third Garden Retail Summit, all hosted by Horticulture Week.

UK Grower Awards winners demonstrate exceptional talent

UK Grower Awards winners demonstrate exceptional talent

Welcome to this special presentation of the achievements of the outstanding winners of the UK Grower Awards 2017.

Opinion: Edwards On... Plant supply and health

Opinion: Edwards On... Plant supply and health

Increasingly, and rightly, plant health/biosecurity is being recognised as something of which all of us involved in plant supply must be aware.


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

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.