Prospective NFU president recognises ornamentals' importance in BPOA speech

Prospective nfu president Meurig Raymond, who is favourite to take over the role next month succeeding Peter Kendal, has recognised the importance of ornamental horticulture in a speech to the British Protected Ornamentals Association.

Meurig Raymond at last year's Grower Awards
Meurig Raymond at last year's Grower Awards

Raymond told delegates of the NFU group: "BPOA chairman Ian Riggs tells me the industry is worth £1bn at farmgate prices. So when Owen Paterson says we need to grow out of recession the ornamental sector is important."

Raymond said if he wins the NFU president role he will take a "its not broke so it doesn't need fixing" stance and will focus on productivity in farming.

Raymond said growers were exposed to too much risk by supermarkets and backed the BPOA code of practice, launched in October 2013, as a fairer way of doing business.

Riggs said: "Our aim is to raise BPOA's profile and in so doing bring to the fore our concerns to the NFU so they can take them to Government. Meurig now knows the size and scope of our industry and understands it to a greater extent than any past president of the NFU."

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