HGCA review urges consumer input
THE Home-Grown cereals authority will carry out its functions for a further five years following a recent review, but must have more environmental and consumer involvement, says junior farm minister Lord Donoughue
The review undertaken by the UK agriculture departments found that the cereals and oilseeds sectors will be best served if the HGCA remains as an industry funded statutory body.
Lord Donoughue said: "This review has emphasised the need for the HGCA to continually improve the way it carries out its functions in order to meet the changing demands of its levy payers and of the wider political, economic and scientific environment.
Recommendations from the review include, revision of the HGCAs mission statement to include specific reference to environmental and consumer concerns and the possibility of increased consumer involvement in the HGCAs activities.
It also recommends refocussing some of the HGCAs research effort on to food contaminant issues, environmentally friendly farming and increased emphasis on technology transfer to cereals and oilseed growers.
Chief executive, Tony Williams, welcomes the report claiming that its current operating strategy already encompasses many of the reviews recommendations. But the authority will now look closely at the review and react positively to suggestions for further extension and improvement to its services contained in the responses from the industry to the review. *