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16.05.03
Cornish Horticultural Enterprises celebrates £4.2 million for projects

Cornish Horticultural Enterprises are celebrating this week with the announcement that it has now invested all £4.2 million of their Objective One delegated fund in supporting Cornwall's horticultural industry.

The Cornish Horticulture Enterprises gateway project has now approved 78 individual projects since it began in January 2002. In all, £4.2 million from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) has now been approved for investments in 2002 and 2003. The project is now closed to new applicants, but if the phase two bid is approved this year investment will be available for projects approved between 2004 and 2008.

CHE Director Roger Whilding said: "The scheme has been very successful. Businesses responded very rapidly to the scheme, with a wide range of projects. The Project Steering Group and the Grant Appraisal Panel have worked hard to respond to the number of applications, which meant that the money was approved within less than a year."

36% of the finance has been invested in processing, packing and marketing to improve the quality and add value to primary produce. Projects included new state of the art packaging and labelling machines for daffodils and flowers which are now packed and distributed direct from Cornwall; to packing and grading facilities for strawberries, vegetables, potatoes, flowers, foliage, bulbs, plants and herbs – total 35 projects.

There are several projects involving the processing of fruit for preserves and drinks, vegetables and potatoes into hotels, catering outlets and food processors such as Ginster's.

28% of the finance is committed to capital investment in retailing and marketing. These include 12 plant nurseries that are developing their retail facilities and 1 new farm shop. There are 9 projects (13%) where 2 or more growers have machinery sharing agreements in which mainly field and harvesting machinery have been jointly purchased to help reduce costs and improve efficiency.

The remaining 21 projects (23%) have been approved for promotion, marketing development and training. These included 16 web sites such as www.cornishplants.com which is a portal site for over 10 nurseries for the promotion of potatoes and vegetables under the Cornish King brand. The Eden Project are linking in with Cornish Nurseries to develop plants to market through Eden and there is another project to develop oils from shrubs and plants and tea from Camellias,

Cornish horticulture has revenue sales of £60 million with additional Added Value of £14 million. Roger Whilding adds: "These investments with the help of Objective One will help the industry to add value, increase sales, improve the quality of jobs and lead to improvements in the environment."

The Cornish horticulture industry has revenue sales of £60 million with additional added value sales of £14 million.

For further information contact:
Roger Whilding
CHE
01626 890405

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Editor's notes:

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)

EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support the local economy between 2000 and 2006.

EAGGF aims to:

• Help preserve the link between diversified farming and the land

• Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture as a key activity in rural areas

• Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural areas

• Help to keep communities thriving in rural areas

• Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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