AWB NFU member Derek Jarman, of Hayloft Plants, said: "The rate is too high for agriculture and horticulture ... For horticulture that means the acceleration of change - the big getting bigger, the small going down the retail route and the medium disappearing. The AWB costs Defra £1m to £2m a year but won't be abolished while Labour is in power."
HTA commercial services director Andrew Maxted said: "The AWB is an anomaly with the Low Pay Commission in existence.
"It's the last of the pay bodies and is past its sell-by date. Two per cent is the norm. Business is seeing a government-sponsored review body recommend over twice that level. It's difficult to get the consumer to pay more so the pay body suggesting doubling the going pay rate is a bit rich."
A Defra representative said the Government is committed to maintaining the AWB.