Growers ready and able to increase food production but need more government support, says NFU horticulture and potatoes board chairman Sarah Pettitt

Growers are well prepared for the challenge of increasing production in response to market demands but the Government has a major role to play in helping them maximise their potential, a conference will hear this week.

Sarah Pettitt, chairman of the NFU's board for horticulture and potatoes, will tell the UK Onion & Carrot Conference in Peterborough that growers are aware of their responsibilities in producing what their customers and consumers want — but that Government has a role to play in removing the barriers to increasing production and ensuring growers are equipped with the tools they need.

Pettitt said: "Despite the day-to-day pressures facing British growers, we are among the leaders in global food production and our industry now stands on the brink of opportunity — an opportunity founded from the recognition that it makes sense to increase the domestic production of fruit and vegetables in response to an increase in demand from our consumers.

"To secure success our industry will need to create and seize new opportunities through a continuing and better understanding of consumers, customers and the market as a whole. As food producers that is our role and, as an industry recognised for its early adoption of new innovations and growing techniques, we will rise to the challenge.

"But the Government has a major role to play as well and that role is to work in partnership with us to remove the barriers to increasing domestic production so that we can provide the world class produce that consumers have come to expect."


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