Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:12 pm on 25th October 2018.

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Jack Ward:

Quite a lot of the existing scheme is well worth carrying across. Some of the disciplines that it imposes are good, such as the requirements for a formal structure and for collaboration. The match funding element is good. There is not too much wrong with the categories under which you can claim grant aid, although there are issues about what proportion of the grant falls into which category.

The area that probably needs most attention is the issue around marketing: what is the interpretation of the PO role in marketing? I think I mentioned that we have reached a situation where, when doing online tendering, it is quite difficult for someone to argue that they have done the correct proportion of their activity on marketing when, in fact, it took somebody a morning to prepare an online tender, they won the tender and that was the end of it for a year. It is a question of looking at it and making it more UK-centric, reflecting what happens in the UK as opposed to what happens in some parts of Europe.