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Sunak Pledges Support for Horticulture

The UK government has launched its first annual Food Security Index, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledging increased support for farmers and growers to ensure a stable domestic food supply.



The index, introduced at the Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street on 14 May, will enable the government, industry, and farmers to track the impacts of global events, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and extreme weather, on food security.


The report reveals the UK farming sector is more productive than ever but highlights the country's dependence on imports for fruits and vegetables. Currently, the UK produces only 17 per cent of its fruit and 55 per cent of its vegetables.


To address this, Sunak announced a new blueprint to boost the UK's fresh produce sector.



A new Horticulture Resilience and Growth scheme will replace the EU Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme, doubling funding to £80 million annually for horticulture businesses.


Additionally, up to £10 million will support English orchard growers in acquiring new equipment and technology.


Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the UK's Fresh Produce Consortium, emphasised the importance of innovation in the sector. “The need for assistance in helping UK growers embrace innovation is paramount to overcoming the challenges faced by the industry,” he said.


Nigel Jenney arriving at th Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street

The government also plans a review to remove barriers for horticulture growth and a £15 million investment in Genetic Improvement Networks to develop more resilient crop varieties.

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