DEFRA has urged UK salad growers to act quickly to get compensation following the market disruption caused by the German E coli outbreak.

The scheme, worth €210m across the EU, is open to growers of tomatoes, lettuce, endives, cucumbers, sweet peppers and courgettes and provides aid for growers whose produce has been withdrawn from sale or has not been harvested. 

The scheme applies to products withdrawn from sale between 18 and 30 June 2011. The deadline for applications is 6pm on Thursday 30 June 2011.

Farm minister Jim Paice said: “British salad growers are facing a tough time through no fault of their own and I urge those affected to act quickly. This funding is only available for a very limited time and it’s vital that UK producers don’t miss out.”

The Rural Payments Agency will provide information about the quantities of products withdrawn in the UK to the European Commission on 18 July 2011.

The commission will then use this information to determine whether the total number of applications fall within the financial limit set for these measures.

Any products notified for withdrawal will be subject to checks, which may be unannounced. Checks will include ensuring marketing standards are met, weighing and sampling, and will cover produce in the field as well as harvested produce.

Growers will need to retain produce for inspection until 6pm of the next working day following notification, unless otherwise advised by RPA.

Important Information

Scheme guidance and all forms are available on the RPA website

Lines are open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday. For queries contact RPA on or 0845 053 9103 or visit the website or email F&VWithdrawals@rpa.gsi.gov.uk 

Growers wanting to notify their wish to withdraw products, need to submit a form HOR7A, Application for Withdrawals, which is available on the RPA website.

Anyone without web access can obtain copies of the form from RPA by fax to 0191 226 1081.

Anyone wishing to receive payment from this scheme will need to be registered with RPA.

Those not registered with RPA, and not a member of one of the recognised Producer Organisations, will need to register as a trader, be allocated a trader registration number and provide bank details for the payments.

To register with RPA call 0845 053 9103.