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History

Plantsman Producer Organisation was originally formed in 1997 as a grower group which was recognised under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Regime EC Regulation 2200/96.  It had 12 grower members at that time and they collectively stored, packed and marketed their fresh fruit at Plantsman Ardleigh Storage Ltd. (PASL) with the aim of improving their returns, strengthening their supply base and centralising their marketing.

Previous to 1997 the same group of growers were already formed into an organisation which was recognised by MAFF (as it was then) for Intervention payments and as a grower group under the old EU rules.

Besides providing technical services, facilitating central packing and marketing services for its members, the PO also benefited from EU grant funding, via the Rural Payments Agency’s Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Aid Scheme.  This grant was available for POs of minimum 5 members.  Planned 5-year Operational Programmes of expenditure for investment and growth of the Producer Organisation as a whole with benefits for the central packhouse and technical services to grower members as well as investment on members' holdings enabled the development of opportunities and innovation for both the PO and member's own businesses. The level of grant funding was calculated at 4.1% of previous year’s gross fruit sales and this funding equated to approx. 50% of the Operational Programme expenditure. 

The PO made considerable investments in central storage and packing facilities as well as irrigation and polytunnels for soft fruit growers, and new orchards with irrigation and hail netting for its top fruit growers.  These investments enabled the PO to be at the forefront of new technologies and innovative horticultural production and sought after in the market place.

In 2007 the PO was restructured to form Plantsman PO Ltd., a non-profit making self-sustained co-operative incorporated under the Provident Societies Act.   Plantsman PO is owned by all members equally on a one share, one vote basis. Plantsman PO (PPO) started its second 5-Year Operational Programme in Jan 2013 and has 6 members.   

 

EU

Plantsman PO's OP
Programme is financed
with EU aid

Boxford (Suffolk) Farms
were Finalists for the
CSR Excellence Award
at the
FPC FreshAwards

in June 2016