UK Minister for Horticulture and R&D Lord Whitty today [Friday] launched a consulation following the completion of an independent economic evaluation of the Apple and Pear Research Council (APRC).

Carried out by the University of Reading, the evaluation's principle recommendation is that 'the functions of the APRC and the Horticultural Development Council (HDC) should be merged'.

The evaluation will be used to inform the statutory (quinquennial) review of the APRC and, in particular, considerations of such a merger.

The report of the economic evaluation is now available by clicking here.

Industry and stakeholder organisations are being consulted on the report and its conclusions and recommendations. Should individuals wish to comment they can do so to one of the following:

    Sean Brabazon
    Room 908 Eastbury House
    30-34 Albert Embankment
    London SE1 7TL

    Telephone: +44 (20) 7238 1032;  Fax: 020 7238 1072

    Helen Stanley
    PEP1, Room 127
    Pentland House
    47 Robbs Loan
    Edinburgh EH14 1TY

    Telephone: +44 (131) 244 6336;  Fax: 0131 244 6509

    Maria Farr
    ARAD, Welsh Assembly Government
    Cathays Park
    CF10 3NQ

    Telephone:  +44 (29) 20 825111

The closing date for receipt of comments is 27 June 2002.