UK government doubling funds for fruit and vegetable businesses — Bloomberg

Houses of Parliament (Westminster palace) and Big Ben tower, London, UK

Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, is set to announce a significant increase in government funding for the country’s fruit and vegetable sector. The annual funding will be doubled to £80 million ($100 million), as revealed by a government statement ahead of the second Farm to Fork Summit.

The additional funding aims to bolster food security by encouraging retailers to support British produce. Sunak emphasized that the initiative is part of a long-term plan to invest in rural communities and ensure more home-grown fruits and vegetables reach British consumers. He stated, “This package of support will help farmers produce more British food, delivers on our long-term plan to invest in our rural communities, and ensures the very best of our homegrown products end up on our plates.”

The announcement follows the UK government’s extension of a visa route for seasonal workers by five years to 2029. This extension provides agri-businesses with more time to invest in automation and reduce dependence on foreign labor.

Further measures to be disclosed at the summit include the introduction of the UK’s first food security index and economic support for farmers dealing with waterlogged fields, as well as for meat, dairy, and poultry producers.

The UK, like many other countries, has been developing food security plans in response to disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which significantly impacted commodity markets and contributed to the cost-of-living crisis.

Source: Bloomberg

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