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Apple farmers struggle amid rising costs, says Capper

Apple farmers are going out of business because they are not getting a fair price during the cost-of-living crisis, explains Ali Capper.

Capper, former NFU horticulture board chair, said it was clear growers were not getting the returns to cover increased costs.

The Worcestershire grower said some had had to stop using their orchards.

The British Retail Consortium said shops had also seen additional costs.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is to hold a food summit with industry bosses over rising food prices.

Ms Capper told BBC Radio 4's Today programme growers were all losing money and they are having to take out their orchards.

"They can't afford to replant them - that means that there won't be the same quantity of British fruit coming forward into the future and some of the businesses are actually going under, going bust and this is not sustainable," she said.

"We've got the perfect climate to produce apples in this country. It is mad that we would rather import them than pay a fair price to British growers."

Ms Capper said the businesses she represented were relatively small with limited bargaining power.

While production costs had risen about 23%, she said the amount they received was only up an average of 0.8%.

"I think there is something fundamentally wrong - it is not fair that the shopper is being charged 27, 25%, 46% more for apples and yet that increase in price is not coming back down to the growers," she said.

The British Retail Consortium said retailers were also facing additional costs and were working hard to limit price increases for consumers during a cost-of-living crisis when many people were struggling to afford essentials.


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