New setback for Radcliffe review

Changes to the DEFRA ministerial team has again delayed the important review.

The Radcliffe review has been delayed further, to the dismay of stakeholders including the HDC. The replacement of Lord Bach as horticulture minister last week has delayed the review further while new minister Lord Rooker learns the brief, a DEFRA representative said. Changes were due to come in on 31 March but were delayed until this month at the earliest even before Bach’s dismissal. DEFRA said a full diary has delayed the announcement but industry figures believe widespread opposition means Radcliffe’s ideas are being reworked (HW, 17 November 2005). A DEFRA representative claimed there had been “no opposition” to the review. HDC chairman Colin Harvey said the “overwhelming majority” — 95 per cent — of respondees to the review suggested keeping the existing system, rather than sharing some administration between review bodies. Radcliffe said this could save £1m a year, but the HDC said its research and development was already well-streamlined. Harvey added: “If they’re saying everything’s hunky-dory, that’s completely wrong.”

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