5 December 1997

LEAF helps peas chase EU funding

LEAF audits are helping Humberside vining pea growers meet Birdseyes demand for external monitoring (News, Nov 21) and a bid for EU funds to enhance production techniques.

In common with all farmers growing vining peas for Birdseye next year, David Jordan of Alma Jordan Farms in Humberside, must complete a Linking Environ-ment and Farming audit as a condition of supply.

The LEAF audit is also helping Mr Jordans vining pea group pitch for money under the reformed EU Fruit & Vegetable Regime.

Key goals of the new regime are to match quality and production to demand, reduce production costs and promote practices that protect the environment.

The changes will be delivered through producer organisations which must develop operational programmes to improve performance over 3-5 years.

Operating funds must be set up in a separate bank account to receive contributions from members and the EU. That money can be used to improve growing techniques to improve quality, market and environmental targets, and to underpin market withdrawals of produce not covered by the community schemes.

"With environmental sensitivity having a high profile, a completed LEAF Audit adds weight to our operational programme for improving drilling and vining techniques and developing other technologies," says Mr Jordan.

Applications for programmes starting on Jan 1, 1999 must be with the Intervention Board by Sept 15, 1998.n

LEAF FOR PEAS

&#8226 Environmental assessment beneficial for consumer and customer confidence.

&#8226 LEAF Audit also supports a bid for EU Fruit & Vegetable regime development money.