The Government unveiled plans for its fully funded campaign to boost consumption of fruit and veg to a depleted audience at the Fresh Produce Consortium near Grantham this week. Apathy towards the conference, which attracted around 100 delegates ­ no more than last year ­ prompted Mike Taylor, former M&S director, now chairman of distributors the Redbridge Group, to demand: "Where is the rest of the industry? Why aren't they here?" Speaking during a debate on how deregulation of the fruit marketing boards had changed the structure of the trade, he said supermarkets' special relationships had contributed to the demise of green- grocers and weakened of the wholesale market structure. Meanwhile, Imogen Sharp of the Department of Health, did her best to inspire enthusiasm for the government's £2m free fruit for kids campaign due to be channelled through schools nationwide next year. It will also be relaunching its Five-A-Day campaign to include an initial £1m local community initiative in five test areas. However, government will not discuss long term budgets until the pilots have been assessed. Elsewhere at the conference, delegates heard that while UK supermarkets enjoy a reputation for sophisticated distribution, their fresh produce displays fall well short of that achieved in the US and even Thailand. Dr Clive Black of Ing Charthouse said Tesco was "selling green boxes" (a reference to produce handling) although he praised the group's business strategy. He said the refurbishment programme at Safeways' (left) was excellent and voted Morrison's outlets among the best in the world. {{M/E FRESH PRODUCE }}