UK ministers have agreed that the Apple and Pear Research Council (APRC) is to be wound up and its work taken over by the Horticultural Development Council (HDC) with effect from 1 April 2003.

As part of the statutory review of APRC, a University of Reading team assessed the value to the industry of the ARPC's work and considered how best to provide research to apple and pear growers.

The report concluded that declining levy income meant the future of a separate development council for apples and pears was unsustainable and that a merger with the HDC was the best way forward.

A consultation exercise on the report produced a positive response from the industry on the merger.