Introduction to producer organisations for growers

Find out what a producer organisation (PO) is and the benefits of joining one.

A producer organisation (PO) is made up of growers who want to improve their position in the marketplace.

How a PO works

Although a PO is made up of individual grower members, the PO is a single enterprise, which is run democratically by all members.

Generally, grower members of a PO must market 100% of their crops through the PO, although there may be some exceptions allowed to this.

Crops covered

A list of the crops covered by the scheme is given in the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme Guidance. However, the list is not exhaustive so always check.

Association of Producer Organisations (APO)

An APO is an umbrella organisation that acts on behalf of two or more recognised POs. It must be a separate legal entity or a clearly defined part of a legal entity.

All recognition criteria for POs and APOs are covered in the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme Guidance.

Aims and benefits of a PO

Growers joining a PO should be able to:

  • achieve a better position in the marketplace
  • reduce their costs
  • increase the overall viability of all members and achieve a more sustainable balance in the supply chain

Setting up a PO

A PO must be officially recognised by the member state where the majority of the PO’s members are based, or where the majority of its produce will be for sale.

Recognition of a PO is based on the legislation of the member state where the PO will be based and the following European Commission regulations:

PO recognition criteria

A PO must have:

  • at least 5 individual grower members all of whom are separate legal entities
  • an annual turnover of €1 million marketable production; POs specifically recognised for mushrooms or nuts must have a minimum marketable production of €250,000
  • a democratic structure that gives members an equal say in the PO’s management and operation (giving one member, one vote)

Funding of PO programmes

A PO must set up an operational fund to finance its operational programmes.

Members of the PO or the PO itself finance the operational fund, which may qualify for EU financial assistance, under the EU Fruit and Vegetable Regime.

Acceptance criteria for EU funding

Operational programmes must run for between 3 to 5 years and must contain two or more environmental actions, or at least 10% of the expenditure should cover environmental actions.

The programme must also meet at least 2 of the objectives set out in Council Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013.

For example, the PO must:

  • ensure that production is planned and adjusted to demand, particularly in terms of quality and quantity
  • focus on supplying to market the products produced by its members
  • optimise production costs and stabilise producer prices
  • boost the commercial value of products
  • promote its products, whether in a fresh or processed form
  • take environmental measures and use methods of production that respect the environment, including organic farming
  • crisis prevention and management

The PO must provide detailed documentary evidence that shows how members will benefit from the programme.

Other evidence required includes:

  • details of all costs involved
  • location of the investment
  • biological control techniques

Amount of funding for an PO

As a general rule, the EU financial assistance is limited to 50% of the total operational fund.

How to become a PO

Growers wishing to form a PO must be assessed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), if based in England, Northern Ireland or Wales, or the relevant Devolved Administration in Scotland.

The RPA or relevant Devolved Administration will check that the PO meets the criteria for becoming a PO.

Contact RPA


or write to:

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
Rural Payments Agency
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court

Current POs in the UK

The POs currently active in the UK are listed below:

  • ABB Marketing
  • Anglian Pea Growers
  • Angus Growers
  • Asplins, The
  • Avalon Growers
  • Aylsham Growers
  • Berry Garden Growers
  • Commercial Mushroom Growers
  • East of Scotland Growers
  • FarmFresh PO
  • Fen Peas
  • Fresh Growers
  • Fruition PO
  • G’s Growers
  • Green Pea Company, The
  • Greenshoots
  • Growco
  • Holbeach Marsh
  • Mid Kent Growers
  • Mockbeggar
  • Mushroom PO
  • Northway Mushrooms
  • Plantsman PO
  • Scottish Borders Produce
  • Snaith Salads
  • South Eastern Produce
  • Speciality Produce
  • Stemgold Peas
  • Suffolk Produce
  • Swaythorpe Growers
  • Westgrowers
  • Wye Fruit

The total amount of the operational fund approved for all UK operational programmes for 2024 is £92,204,249.15 broken down as follows:

Total amount Amount for crisis prevention and management measures Amount for other measures
  A = (B+C) B C
Total amount of the operational fund approved for all operational programmes £92,204,249.15 £1,912,503.57 £90,291,745.58
(of which) Total amount of financing £40,355,834.07 £956,251.79 £39,399,582.28

More information

You can read more information in the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme Guidance.

Read the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme annual report for 2021
for information about Producer Organisations that received funding in 2021.

Published 31 March 2014
Last updated 11 January 2024 + show all updates
  1. Removed Waveney Mushrooms from the list of POs currently active in the UK.

  2. Published the total amount of the operational fund approved for all UK operational programmes for 2024.

  3. The total amount of the operational fund approved for all UK operational programmes for 2023 has been published.

  4. Addition of link to the Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme annual report for 2021.

  5. New PO's and stats added

  6. Page updated and the Fruit and Veg Scheme Guidance and National Strategy and its Environmental Framework have been replaced with newer versions.

  7. Updated Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme Guidance

  8. The list of active Producer Organisations has been updated.

  9. Updated the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme Guidance

  10. Redirected the links to the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme Guidance to updated version

  11. First published.