THE HORTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL IN GREAT BRITAIN
The present UK Government has reduced its expenditure upon research and development work in horticulture, in line with its general policy of cutting public expenditure. The Government wants producers themselves to contribute towards research and development expenditure and at least make-good any shortfall. In response to this, a Horticultural Development Council (HDC) was established in July, 1986 after a poll among growers had been taken. The Council, which has a majority of grower members, is to sanction and finance agreed research and development projects. The finance at its disposal is to be obtained by a compulsory yearly levy upon growers, based upon the value of each individual's annual sales. This paper explains first how the HDC is organised, the problems and issues involved in setting it up and the work it is planning to do. This is followed by a discussion of the issues involved in the functioning of such an organisation and, finally, some conclusions are drawn. The issues concern mainly the economically powerful multiples, who are dominant in the retailing sector, their business attitudes and their relationships with growers. The principal conclusion is that although the HDC may continue to operate as a grower-dominated organisation, the competitive relationships between all those in the total production process are such that no true 'horticultural development council', representing the joint efforts of all parties is likely to emerge or to operate.
GILL, A.H. (1988). THE HORTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL IN GREAT BRITAIN. Acta Hortic. 223, 365-371