The move will give these vital organisations - run by industry on behalf of the industry - the strength they need to move forward and develop in the face of the ongoing research-funding crisis.
The news is a ray of hope in what has otherwise been a rotten 12 months for horticultural research. From last summer's decision by the University of Warwick to close HRI Kirton, to this January's passing of EU plant protection legislation which at a stroke has wiped out years of development work in crop protection - the prognosis for applied R&D in horticulture at this moment couldn't be much worse.
And this despite two key reports, published during the same period, which have highlighted the absolutely critical role of R&D in the sector's success, the damage that has been caused by the fall-off in public funding - and the great opportunity that is awaiting government if it can be persuaded to rethink its approach to applied R&D.
Calling for a new vision for UK agricultural R&D, the Commercial Farmers Group last summer warned of a significant decline in the rate of growth of UK agricultural productivity, in its competitiveness with other countries and, as a consequence, in food self-sufficiency since the mid-1980s. "This period of decline has coincided with reductions in public-sector funding support for agricultural R&D and undoubtedly this has been a significant influence," it concluded.
Meanwhile, the National Horticultural Forum's review of the provision of UK horticultural R&D forcefully argued that a successful, innovative horticulture industry can help deliver the Government's public policy aims from climate change to public health and food security.
Its recommendations included seeking efficiencies in managing R&D and knowledge transfer, both within the horticultural research world and that of the wider Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board - issues which the collaboration by EMR and STC shows are being addressed.
No one can deny that industry has more than done its job. Now, so must the Government - by reversing the damage done when it cut our industry's R&D lifeline. STC chief executive Graham Ward's call for pound-for-pound match-funding by the Government of the HDC levy would be a very good place to start.