GB Potatoes, the proposed new grower controlled industry body, has moved closer to becoming a reality by appointing a working group of nine stakeholders.
It is also encouraging prospective members to register their interest. GB Potatoes, which has been set up following the demise of AHDB Potatoes, will cover similar areas of research and markets with the intention of leverage funding including the driving of innovation. It is envisaged that GB Potatoes will be funded by a voluntary subscription expected to be £10 per hectare for growers and 10p per tonne for first purchasers. "This will be an affordable way for growers and handlers of potatoes to safeguard the future of the industry and have access to more innovation opportunities," said working group member Archie Gibson, executive director of Agrico UK. "The removal of the statutory levy presents an opportunity to do things differently," added independent consultant Mark Taylor. "GB Potatoes will be a lean and efficient umbrella body that can help to co-ordinate our industry when a joined up response is needed."
Scottish seed and packing grower Euan Grewar of Perthshire-based Grewar Farms said: "The industry is highly integrated and mutually dependent so having a strong voice covering the whole country is vital." And Lincolnshire grower Alex Godfrey said its co-ordination role will be useful in minimising duplication of activity. Growers and buyers are being encouraged to email email@example.com to express an interest and be kept informed. Members of the working group are: