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Fruit and Vegetables

23. Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what total tonnage of fruit and vegetables was destroyed under EU regulations in 2000. [151409]

Ms Quin: Provisional figures show that just over 1,300,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were withdrawn from the EU market in 2000. Some 10,000 tonnes were withdrawn in the UK, 10 per cent. of which was used for animal feed distributed free.

CAP (Dairy Regime)

25. Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has for the reform of the dairy regime of the common agricultural policy. [151411]

Ms Quin: We will continue to seek an orderly end to the milk quota system which unfairly constrains our producers.

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Organophosphates

26. Mrs. Gorman: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent research he has commissioned into the effects of organophosphates in farming. [151412]

Mr. Morley: A database of Government funded OP research generally since 1995 has been prepared and is available on-line to the public at www.csl.gov.uk/ops (passwords are 'public' then 'access'.).

Farm Woodlands

27. Mr. Burgon: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to promote farm woodlands in the Yorkshire and Humber area. [151413]

Mr. Morley: There are a number of initiatives in the area to promote farm woodlands, including grants under the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) for new woodlands and for short rotation coppice. The latter, for example, is planned to provide supplies for the UK's first wood fuelled electricity plant at Eggborough. Further details are in the ERDP, Appendix for Yorkshire and the Humber Region, published by MAFF in October 2000.

Farmers' Administrative Load

Caroline Flint: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the increase in paperwork issued by his Department to farmers since 1990; and what steps he is taking to reduce the administrative load on farmers. [149076]

Ms Quin: No official estimate has been made of the increase in the level of paperwork since 1990 and the burden depends on the nature and size of individual enterprises. Furthermore, the number, scope and type of schemes have changed to meet new needs and priorities, and continue to do so.

The Department is committed to reducing paperwork. All forms issued by the Department are reviewed for need and content at least once every three years. In many cases this is done in consultation with industry. All new forms require ministerial approval, and are trialled with users before being issued.

Implementation of the Red Tape Review recommendations, made in response to concerns identified by farmers themselves, have already achieved reductions worth £3 million as well as reduced time spent on form filling. Further savings, for example, through the introduction of electronic forms and co-ordinated inspections are well under way. We continue to work both at home and in Brussels to secure further regulatory reform where possible consistent with the need to protect public and animal health, the environment and taxpayers money.

Over-30-months Scheme

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effects

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of his decision to lift the weight limit in respect of Over-30-months Scheme payments. [150989]

Mr. Nick Brown: Removal of the weight limit on payments under the Over-30-months Scheme delivered a key measure in the Government's Action Plan For Farming. It has provided important financial relief for UK beef and dairy farmers.

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Beet Sugar

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the (a) production and (b) consumption of beet sugar was in each EU country in each of the last three years. [150986]

Mr. Nick Brown: Beet sugar production for the years 1998-99 to 2000-01, and sugar consumption for the years 1997-98 to 1999-2000, for each member state, are as follows.

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000 tonnes

Beet sugar production Sugar consumption
1998-991999-20002000-011997-981998-991999-2000
Austria466477387326310309
Belgium/Luxembourg7941,091917519521544
Denmark531553504237238245
Finland120166153192210223
France4,2664,5224,2702,1612,1662,177
Germany4,0164,3804,3412,7062,7112,752
Greece199232367320310306
Ireland219216219134136135
Italy1,5961,7051,5441,4811,4751,411
Netherlands8251,1171,061623622642
Portugal667657330332327
Spain1,1491,0971,0751,2111,2401,268
Sweden399430412323378375
UK1,4421,5461,3002,0762,1242,187
Total EU 1516,08817,60816,60712,63912,77312,901

Notes:

1. Production includes over-quota production but excludes all sugar made from EU-grown or imported cane and molasses.

2. Beet sugar production figures for 2000-01 are estimates.

3. Breakdown between consumption of beet and cane sugar not available.

Source:

European Commission (February 2001)


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England Rural Development Plan

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his oral statement of 1 February 2001, Official Report, column 518, on ERDP funding, on what basis the figure of £300 million was calculated. [150988]

Mr. Nick Brown: The £300 million was calculated on the basis of matching the estimated receipts from modulation in England.

Composting

Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what powers he has to regulate the use in compost of (a) cooked crab waste, (b) cooked shell fish and fish waste, (c) uncooked shell fish and fish waste, (d) cooked meat waste, (e) uncooked meat waste, (f) mixed cooked catering waste, (g) mixed uncooked catering waste and (h) domestic kitchen waste for use on (i) grazing and (ii) growing land. [151740]

Ms Quin: The use of those materials listed in the question which contain products of animal origin (including fish and crustaceans) is regulated by the Animal By-Products Order 1999 which is enforced by local authorities.

In addition, the recovery and disposal of waste are subject to control under the Framework Directive on waste. Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires that waste is recovered or disposed of in

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accordance with the conditions of a waste management licence, or within the terms of an exemption, and in a way which does not cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions is responsible for the Directive and the Act and the Environment Agency is responsible for enforcement.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions regarding the Government's Waste Strategy, with regard to composting and the implications of the Animal By-products Order 1999. [151744]

Ms Quin: No such discussions have taken place. However, officials of the two Departments are in regular contact over the relationship between the Animal By-Products Order 1999 and environmental controls. On 31 January 2001, this Department issued a guidance note on the disposal of animal by-products and catering waste. The note was prepared in liaison with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and other interests. It explains that, in general, the composting of such material is not a permitted disposal route.

Pig Industry

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received concerning the impact on marketing and sale of British pork

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products of the decision by the Advertising Standards Agency to ban Meat and Livestock Commission newspaper advertisements for the British pig industry. [151669]

Ms Quin: No representations on this specific issue have been received, although there has been general comment on the Advertising Standards Authority's ruling in this case.

Abattoir Closures

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his estimate is of the number of abattoirs closed since 1984; and what the effects of these closures are on the average kill and throughput at surviving abattoirs and the average journey time to slaughter of animals. [151873]

Ms Quin: The information available relates to England. The numbers of abattoirs in 1984 and 2000, together with the total numbers of animals slaughtered in those years is as follows:

Number of abattoirs(29)Slaughtering(30) (Thousand)
1984860
Cattle(31)2,934
Sheep11,207
Pigs12,929
2000316
Cattle(31),(32)1,476
Sheep11,485
Pigs10,645

(29) Source: Food Standards Agency

(30) Source: MAFF Slaughterhouse survey

(31) Excludes cattle slaughtered under the OTMS and the Selective Cull

(32) Provisional


Information on average journey times is not collected.


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