19 May 1995

Potato body is on schedule

TRANSITION from the PMB to the new Great Britain Potato Organisation is on schedule, say junior farm minister Michael Jack and PMB chairman John Heading.

Current plans include a statutory area levy on growers and a "top-up" tonnage levy on the rest of the industry.

"We are ahead of the governments timetable. The basic proposals are on the table and agreed by the industry," said Mr Heading at this weeks PMBs Potato Technology 95 Event. "We now want to get the details sorted out by Christmas."

Mr Jack stressed that the government would not impose a regime. "There is no going back to things as they are presently constituted.

But we are looking for industry involvement to decide the future. I believe that worked successfully in the milk area."

The ministry timetable is to end the potato marketing scheme after the 1996 crop year. That means the PMB must put detailed proposals for a successor body to the minister by next March. &#42