NFU South Holland joint group branch secretary ANDREW CROSS, pens this week’s Word on the Ground column.
I write this piece in the middle of the Christmas and New Year festivities. At this time of year, thoughts always turn to those less fortunate and I remain thankful to be fortunate enough to spend the Christmas period with family and friends, sharing good company, conversation and of course, food and drink.
Inevitably, in my role, I cannot help but speculate on how much appreciation is given to those that put the food, drink and decorations on our tables. The excitement of the forthcoming events can often obscure the sheer amount of hard work and effort involved.
In addition, the drive for consumer spend can sometimes result in in some commodities being sold at prices which diminish the very value of the products in the consumer’s eyes. This is particularly noticeable to those of living in South Holland, with it being such an important hub for vegetable and flower production.
The NFU continues to work hard both nationally and locally to promote the importance of these sectors through its “Fruit and Veg Pledge”, which seeks to engage supermarkets in committing to support British horticulture and ensuring fairness for growers and the supply chain. Currently, four of the big names are signed up to the pledge - Aldi, Lidl, Co-op and Tesco.
Turning to flowers, we are canvassing the thoughts on promotion of the ornamentals sector at a regional level, with a meeting for our ornamental grower members early in the New Year.
May I take the opportunity, on behalf of all of us here at the NFU in Spalding, to wish you all a happy and healthy 2018.