Lancs veg group in line for Euro funds
A NEW production and marketing venture, Alphagrow, set up by nine Lancashire vegetable growers with a combined turnover of £15m, could herald a new era of stability for this specialist sector of the countys farming.
Previous attempts by growers to establish such an EC-funded operation have failed. But the cumulative output of the nine members of Alphagrow is large enough for the group to qualify for development cash under the EC Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.
Chief executive of Alphagrow is independent consultant Fred Tyler, previously head of business development with ADAS horticulture.
"The EC funding is available for improved production and marketing. Growers must contribute 2% of their turnover to Alphagrow which is then match-funded by the EC. A bigger financial commitment may be match-funded if enough EC cash is available."
The aims of Alphagrow are: To produce high quality produce; grow assured and traceable crops; follow codes of good practice; undertake additional vegetable preparation to meet consumer demands; increase speciality lines and operate to the highest environmental and hygiene standards.
Hopefully, the wide variety of crops available through Alphagrow – over 30 vegetable and fruit crops – will encourage new business with major supermarket buyers.
Alphagrows Ron Farrington (left) and Fred Tyler have high hopes.