7 November 2001
NFU endorses potato levy increase

By Adrienne Francis

The National Farmers Union says it supports a proposed 9% hike in the British Potato Councils annual potato levy.

If agreed, the 3.50/hectare increase to 40 per hectare will be the first time there has been a rise in the levy since 1999.

NFU potato chairman Graham Nichols said he agreed that the BPC would be unable to maintain the existing service to growers without an increase.

“The decision to support the levy increase was a difficult and carefully considered one, he said.

The decision to support the rise came with a number of conditions. The BPC should look at more efficient methods of levy collection, said Mr Nichols.

Producers will have the opportunity to express their views on the proposed levy rise at national meetings during the coming weeks.

The levy rise proposals will then go to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for formal consultation.

The increase will go towards providing better promotion, research and development, market information and export investigation.

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