Press release

Industry's ideas for growing and eating more fruit and veg

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Members of the fruit and vegetable industry have presented ideas for increasing production and consumption of fruit and vegetables in England.

The report, by the industry-led Fruit and Vegetable Task Force, includes proposals for action by industry, as well as ideas for the Government to consider. They identify four targets to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables:

  • making produce more available and more convenient;
  • providing value for money;
  • maintaining a high standard of quality and taste; and
  • building up a competitive supply base and an efficient supply chain.

Welcoming delivery of the Task Force’s report, Food Minister Jim Paice said:

“We produce some of the best fresh food that you can buy, right here in England. We can’t grow all the fruit and vegetables people want to eat, but increasing consumption and increasing home production is not just good for people’s health, it will develop the market opportunities and the confidence of our growers.

“It’s a Government priority to support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production, and I am grateful for the experience and insight of the Task Force in producing this report.”

The Task Force was asked to put forward practical proposals for action, their response focuses on:

  • Removing regulation;
  • Sustaining R&D capability;
  • Improving skills and attracting new entrants in to the industry;
  • Encouraging collaboration;
  • Improving supply chain relationships;
  • Expanding market opportunities;
  • Improving existing Government behaviour change campaigns;
  • Encouraging industry promotions;
  • Aligning VAT with the 5 A Day objective; and
  • Supporting Grow Your Own.

Defra will support the Fruit and Vegetable Task Force in developing its action plan. Defra will discuss with the relevant departments the Task Force’s proposals which concern other Government departments, taking into consideration wider policies and contexts including practicality and cost.

The industry-led Fruit and Vegetable Task Force was set up by Defra in October 2009. A full copy of the report is available on our Fruit and Vegetable Task Force page.

Notes

  • The Fruit and Vegetables Task Force was launched on 21 October 2009 to identify the barriers to increasing domestic production and consumption of fruit and vegetables in England.
  • The Task Force brought together growers, processors, wholesalers, major retailers, representatives of street markets, the School Food Trust, the Food Standards Agency, research and development professionals, people involved in public procurement and respected academics.
  • The Task Force set up three subgroups to take forward detailed work into i) production ii) supply chain and iii) consumption. Defra facilitated the meetings of the Task Force and its subgroups.
  • The Task Force followed a roundtable event with the fruit and vegetables industry in summer 2009.
  • The Task Force will meet for the final time in autumn 2010 to agree its action plan.
  • A full list of the organisations represented on the Fruit and Vegetables Task Force and its subgroups is available on our Fruit and Vegetables Task Force page.