Horticultural Crop Protection Ltd will feature a subscription model and take on key work post-AHDB

A new organisation is being launched to take on the horticultural industry’s vital crop protection work in the post-AHDB era.

According to a statement issued by a collaboration of grower bodies, following consultation with crop associations and other representative organisations across the fresh produce industry, there is ”overwhelming support for the establishment of a successor organisation to take on the task of processing EAMU applications and Emergency Authorisations from AHDB with effect from March 2023, when AHDB will cease this function.”

The new organisation will be called Horticultural Crop Protection Ltd (HCP), and will be grower-owned, grower-led and funded through a system of voluntary subscriptions.

The horticulture industry has set up a working group to shape and guide the development of the new organisation and is now in the process of agreeing the governing documentation, drafting a three-year budget and exploring the most appropriate and equitable cost-sharing model. The working group is also actively communicating with the grower base through a series of newsletters detailing progress to date.

The group said it is in regular dialogue with Defra and stressed that the government is supportive of the principle of growers taking on the responsibility for this work.

The statement stressed that the key to the future success of the initiative is funding. ”The network of crop associations and other representative organisations have, through their chairs, communicated to both AHDB and Defra, support for the transfer of any residual funding from AHDB Horticulture to the successor organisation through the auspices of British Growers,” it said.

“Time is of the essence if the important work of processing EAMU applications is to continue after March 2023. The transfer of the residual funding from AHDB Horticulture for the benefit of the new organisation will ensure the entire industry benefits from the funds raised from growers, for this purpose, through the continuation of a pipeline of future crop protection products.”

The announcement was signed by the British Carrot Growers Association, Horticultural Trades Association, British Apples & Pears, Asparagus Growers Association, British Berry Growers, British Herbs, UK Mushroom Growers Association, Tomato Growers Association, Cucumber Growers Association, Leek Growers Association, Brassica Growers Association, British Onion Growers Association, Rhubarb Growers Association and the Pea and Bean Growers Association.