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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 705, tabled on 11 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to take steps to increase the proportion of British apples grown commercially in England and Wales.

Answered on

20 May 2022

We have a proud tradition of apple production in this country and our unique climate has given our apples an enviable reputation for quality. Apple orchards are an iconic feature of our landscape.

While commercial decisions ultimately rest with businesses, an innovative, productive and competitive agricultural sector is one of the Government’s key priorities. With its highly responsive and versatile growers, our horticulture sector has a potential to grow, taking advantage of the demand for top-quality, locally grown fresh fruit. We are working with the sector on a forward-thinking approach, for example looking at increased use of innovation to help maximise crop growth and increase productivity. We have also taken a number of steps to support businesses in the horticulture sector. For example, in November 2021, Defra launched the Farming Investment Fund , which provides grants to farmers and horticultural growers in England so that they can invest in the equipment, technology and infrastructure that will help improve their businesses while enhancing the environment.

As agricultural policy is devolved, the information provided applies to England only.