Levy body the Horticultural Development Council said this week that it had been inundated with submissions from growers rejecting proposals made by the Radcliffe review of levy-funded organisations.
Rosemary Radcliffe recommended that ministers create a single levy collection body, which she believes would be more efficient than several bodies collecting their own levies as is the case now.
However, the HDC insisted its collection regime was already efficient and accountable, and any change would compromise this. HDC chairman Colin Harvey said that grower responses to a government consultation on the issue mirrored HDC concerns, which included the contention that horticulture is intrinsically different from agriculture -- mainly because it has always operated without subsidies - and should be left to operate independently.
He added: “We believe that success lies in addressing specific efficiency issues in the different levy boards rather than a collective approach, which would add cost and complexity. There is the opportunity to create greater flexibility but this can be done in a far simpler way without extra cost.”