Horticulture: Environment Protection

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 22 November 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 25 October (HL10678), what steps they intend to take to ensure that the environmental horticulture industry, previously known as “ornamental” horticulture and not including food, receives adequate support and acknowledgement, and is regarded as part of the “green economy” in assessment.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government recognises that the UK’s environmental (or ornamental) horticulture sector plays a crucial role as part of the ‘green economy’ and is aware that the priorities of the sector align with many of the environmental goals in the Environmental Improvement Plan.

Ornamental horticulture is in scope of the majority of competitions in the Farming Innovation Programme. Under this programme we have committed over £80 million to 163 projects. Of that funding, around a quarter (£19 million) is earmarked for projects focusing on horticulture and just under two thirds of that (£12 million) has potential application across both edible and ornamental sectors.

Beyond this, the Tree Production Capital Grant will reopen soon for new funding applications. This grant provides funding to increase domestic production of tree seed and saplings by supporting investments in expansion, automation and mechanisation of facilities and equipment. This will help to improve nursery resilience and sustainability and increase the diversity of tree species produced, as well as the quantity of trees and tree seed coming into the market.

Defra will continue to engage with the ornamental horticulture industry to understand the issues they face.

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