The British Growers Association has become the first UK organisation to be formally recognised under EU Regulations as an Association of Producer Organisations, opening up new opportunities to help develop and promote the Producer Organisation (PO) sector in the UK.
Through collaborative planning, production and marketing, Producer Organisations help strengthen the market position of farmers and growers in the face of ever greater concentration of demand.
The British Growers Association (BGA) is the foremost provider of management and support services to Producer Organisations in the UK fresh produce sector.
As a recognised Association of Producer Organisations (APO), membership of the BGA APO will provide additional flexibility for member POs to establish new collaborations and enjoy greater access to EU funding in areas such as research and development, marketing and consumer promotion.
BGA chief executive James Hallett said:
“This unique status provides hard-earned recognition for the British Growers Association as the specialist, member-owned organisation capable of developing and managing POs in the UK. It provides welcome confirmation of the integrity and transparency we apply to the management and operation of our existing network of Producer Organisations.
“Importantly, it also offers exciting potential to grow the PO sector through increased co-operation and access to EU funds. Just 25% of fresh produce is currently produced and marketed via Producer Organisations in the UK, significantly lower than in many other EU member states. Similarly, British growers lag behind our European counterparts in accessing available sources of EU capital and revenue grant aid, effectively placing the UK fresh produce sector at a competitive disadvantage.
“Recognition of BGA as an approved Association of Producer Organisations could represent an important first step towards growing the PO sector in the UK, establishing a more level playing-field and driving profitable efficiency for British farmers and growers,” concluded Mr Hallett.