What is a Producer Organisation?
We are registered as a Producer Organisation, set up under the EU Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme and our current programme runs to the end of 2022. We are waiting on Government for the announcement of a replacement scheme.
The EU Fresh Fruit and Veg scheme started in 1997. It allowed for the creation of cooperatives known as Producer Organisations which offer growers access to grant funding on a match funded basis i.e. 50% investment by the growers matched by 50% grant funding from the EU.
The UK government has pledged to continue funding POs until the end of 2022, whilst they review the current scheme and consider a replacement scheme.
The amount of grant aid available to a PO is determined by the value of its produce sold. A PO can claim funding up to 4.1% of the value of its turnover. There are currently 32 POs in the UK.
Asplins PO commenced a five-year EU (Post-Brexit UK) funded programme from 2018 to provide continuing support for growth and development plans of our growers.
Asplins PO is democratically run by its members for the benefit of the members. The Board of Directors meet regularly to decide production, marketing, and financial strategy. The Board is supported by its Executive Team under the direction of Julia Payne.
The aim of a Producer Organisation
POs are designed to support grower collaboration and optimise production costs. Investment by a PO can be used to fund a range of measures including:-
- Research and development
- Training and advice
- Crop insurance
- Environmental actions
Provision of marketing support
POs provide a collaborative marketing function enabling growers to come together to market their produce and collectively agree prices without compromising competition rules, improving their position in the supply chain.
Where retailers are looking to deal direct with growers, a PO is an ideal vehicle for providing the interface between a number of growers and a retailer without adding significantly to supply chain costs.
POs can employ professional staff to plan production, manage quality standards and communicate with buyers. The costs of these resources are shared across the grower base and part funded through the PO scheme.