Minister pledges to protect funds that boost R&D

Minister of state for agriculture and food Jim Paice pledged to try to protect current Defra funds for horticultural research and development, at last week's European Food & Farming Partnerships conference. However, he said that private farms should get involved by sharing their expertise.

Answering a question on the horticultural task force, which recently recommended more investment in research and development, he said: "We will try to protect the money that Defra puts into research and development. But we need to find pockets of money from elsewhere. Creating centres of excellence in private farms could help show other farmers the way to go."

In a 20-minute speech, Paice pointed out that the Government would be encouraging farmers to work more closely with the food industry. He said that farming in Britain - as an industry - is only worth £7bn. However, when food production, catering and retail is taken into consideration, the food industry is worth around £90bn. He said that an industry of this size could create some of the jobs that the country needs.

Food standards should be raised, continued Paice, announcing that public buying standards for food would be introduced by all public bodies, particularly for schools.

He also suggested that the Government would be encouraging farming by having a minimum of regulation. The Government viewed Defra as an economic department, he said, designed to boost industry: "We want this to succeed. Sometimes we have to keep out of the way of successful business."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

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

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

The SIVAL horticultural trade show in Angers, France, this week (16-18 January) heard about several initiatives to promote more environmentally sustainable orchard growing.

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

Published on 11 January, the Government's long-awaited 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' brings together a number of policy strands into a single framework that will impact many sectors, not least fresh produce, over the coming decades.

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

At the Oxford Farming Conference, whose theme was "embracing change", Defra secretary Michael Gove expanded on what a post-Brexit UK agriculture and land-use policy will look like and how it will impact farmers and growers.


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

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon