Announcement follows lobbying from NFU and should give growers opportunity to cut energy bills
Horticulture businesses will have access to the Industrial Energy Transformation (IETF) Fund to help cut their energy bills.
The announcement, which the NFU said comes following lobbying by the union, represents a major breakthrough at a time of high energy costs. Energy was a key theme during this year’s Downing Street Farm to Fork summit.
NFU president Minette Batters said: “The horticulture sector invests heavily in renewables and energy-efficient systems, but sharply rising input costs over the past 18 months, particularly for energy, have put many businesses on a knife edge.
”We have repeatedly made the case that this is threatening the viability of many crops, including peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and those with long-term storage such as apples and potatoes.
“One of the key outcomes from the Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street was the need for greater energy security, so we are very pleased that government has responded to our calls to recognise energy-intensive horticultural production within future energy price support measures.
”As we have stated many times, it is critical that all high-energy crops are recognised within this announcement, including protected cropping and those with long-term storage.
“We are seeking urgent clarification on the eligibility for horticulture businesses and the process by which they can register for the Industrial Energy Transformation (IETF) Fund to help mitigate against high energy costs and provide confidence to grow and invest in future production.”