Grower Lionel Mills continues NFU industry watch in Europe

Kent-based bedding and pot plant grower Lionel Mills has been re-elected as vicepresident of the NFU Commission Advisory Group for Ornamentals.

Mills is also vice-chairman of European farmers' organisation Copa-Cogeca Ornamentals and will continue to raise issues on behalf of the industry at a European level as part of the group.

"A lot of our problems come from outside Europe so it is vital that we work with unity to protect the interests of European producers," he said.

"Other issues we will be looking at include a close watch on the review of the Plant Health Directive as well as an examination of proposed legislation on alien invasive species.

"Then there are discussions on the Specialist Crops Minor Use of Pesticides, bearing in mind that specialty crops represent 22 per cent of agricultural output in value, yet only three per cent of the land. We will also be lobbying in the review of the promotion fund for fair share of the budget for ornamentals."

NFU horticulture and potatoes board chairman Sarah Pettitt said Mills' experience and knowledge of European institutions would ensure the interests of growers are well represented.

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