Retailers hard to win over to Fruit & Veg Pledge, says NFU board's Poskitt

The NFU has found it "very hard" to get retailers to sign up to its Fruit & Veg Pledge, which sets out best business practice for dealings between growers, retailers and intermediaries, acting horticulture board chairman Guy Poskitt told the National Fruit Show (16-17 October).

But he welcomed the appointment of an adjudicator to oversee the Grocery Supply Code of Practice, saying: "It's not about profit, it's about being able to invest in the future. There's a lot of equipment like packing machines at this show that isn't easy to move on if your situation changes."

On the loss of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, he said: "The consistency and the reliability of workers won't be as good. A lot of people may arrive in this part of the world without work, which will bring issues to rural areas."

But he added that NFU lobbying has paid off in other areas. "Neonicotinoids are only a problem in flowering plants, but growers don't let carrots run to flower, which they do only in their second year. We had to make that point in Brussels."

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