Pulses UK joins AIC creating stronger voice for growers

Industry membership group Pulses UK is set to join the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) later this year, which should bolster both organisations.

Pulses UK members, who comprise processors and users of UK-grown peas and beans, voted “overwhelmingly in favour” of joining the trade organisation earlier in March, and this decision has now been ratified by the AIC board.

About 40 businesses representing the pulses trade are members of Pulses UK, while the AIC is made up of roughly 230 agricultural supply and trading businesses.

See also: Rising demand for feed beans, but poor yields put off growers

AIC chief executive Robert Sheasby said: “Since it was formed of three separate industry trade associations in 2003, AIC’s influence and expertise has grown significantly as we work in support of modern, sustainable, commercial agriculture.

“Two decades on, it is fitting that another trade association will now join the confederation, enhancing the benefits of having a strong, united voice for all member businesses as well as wider UK agriculture.

“Pulses not only play a key role in helping realise the environmental ambitions of policymakers, they are also a healthy, high-protein product grown throughout the UK as part of sustainable food systems.”

Pulses UK president Michael Shuldham said the move would best serve the interests of member businesses for years to come.

He said: “Working as an integral part of AIC offers clear strategic advantages as our sector faces some major challenges, most pressingly the consequences of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and diminishing crop protection options.

“This is why it is the right time to strengthen our hand by joining AIC to make a compelling case for sustainable pulse crop production as demand for home-grown protein rises.”

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