|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Croydon, Central constituency, the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 2005. 
Croydon, Central is obliged through statute to comply with central Government legislation. DEFRA's policy responsibilities are summarised in its departmental strategic objectives (DSOs) that have been agreed with the Treasury:
To promote a society that is adapting to the effects of climate change, through a national programme of action and a contribution to international action.
To promote a healthy, resilient, productive and diverse natural environment.
To promote sustainable, low carbon and resource efficient patterns of consumption and production.
To promote an economy and a society that are resilient to environmental risk.
To champion sustainable development.
To promote a thriving farming and food sector with an improving net environmental impact.
To encourage a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply.
To provide socially and economically sustainable rural communities.
To be a respected Department delivering efficient and high quality services and outcomes.
Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA has worked over a number of years to provide guidance to Departments on incorporating sustainable development objectives into their food procurement operations. This explicitly includes issues of animal welfare.
We strongly encourage the procurement of products that meet higher animal welfare standards wherever possible. DEFRA has been working at ministerial level to encourage the public sector to procure food to the highest possible standards.
In February this year new guidance was published, advising public sector procurers how to incorporate an additional contract award criterion for pork, bacon and other pigmeat products. This is aimed at improving the quality of the products procured and asks procurers to ensure that supply tenders are able to offer pigmeat products that comply with certain welfare and animal health standards.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the quality standards of food proposed to be imported to the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
We have been advised by the Food Standards Agency that official controls are in place to monitor food imports from countries outside the European Union (EU) and to ensure it is safe. Products of animal origin such as meat from approved countries outside the EU must come from approved establishments. Such products must enter the United Kingdom through designated Border Inspection Posts under the control of veterinary inspectors, where they undergo documentary and identity checks, and a prescribed proportion are subject to physical checks which may include testing for contaminants.
Food of non-animal origin is also subject to checks by authorised officers and, in addition, depending on its source and whether it is regarded as high risk, may undergo stringent checks to ensure it is safe for human consumption.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to require more accurate information on the country of origin to be displayed on food products; and if he will make a statement. 
Origin labelling is required on certain foods and in cases where not to inform the consumer of origin may mislead them. In cases where voluntary origin information is provided this must be accurate and the Food Standards Agency has had best practice guidance in place since 2002 recommending labelling formats that are meaningful to consumers.
The Government have been encouraging even greater clarity, an example of which is the new voluntary industry Code of Practice on the labelling of pork and pork products which resulted from the Government's Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force - a supply chain-wide group, facilitated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
In addition, origin labelling rules are being discussed in the European Union as part of a proposal for a new Food Information Regulation. The Government are pressing in these discussions for greater clarity of information when origin claims are made.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with (a) his counterparts in devolved Administrations, (b) the European Commission and (c) the Government of Morocco on the recent impounding of seed potatoes exported from the UK to Morocco and the rejection of consignments due to contamination with common scab and silver scurf; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what recent discussions he has had on the dispute between the EU and Morocco on the import of tomatoes and the imposition by Morocco of trade restrictions on the export of seed potatoes to that country. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: There have been discussions at official level between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland about the Moroccan rejection of consignments of seed potatoes from the UK. The problems have arisen because of a change in interpretation and inspection practices in Morocco regarding potato skin problems of traded seed potatoes. Although in making these changes the Moroccan authorities have acted within their sovereign rights, it is disappointing that there was no prior notification.
Officials have visited Morocco to discuss the problem and the British embassy and EU missions to Morocco have been involved. The European Commission and officials from member states have discussed the issue with Morocco in the margins of an international meeting and have agreed to establish a working group to discuss and agree consistent application of inspection methods in future years.
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which energy-from-waste facilities of each type received planning permission in the last three years; and what the location was of each. 
The total numbers of planning decisions (including permissions and refusals) for England relating to applications for waste facilities that may include energy recovery are published in table 3.4 of the Statistical Release on Annual Development Control, England, 2008-09. This is available on the Communities and Local Government website at:
The following table provides a further breakdown for most recent available year, 2008-09, showing the numbers of applications granted and the location of each of these applications by local planning authority. These figures are as reported by local planning authorities to Communities and Local Government.
|Application Type||LA name||Number of applications granted in 2008-09|
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will replace Wightlink as the competent authority in the Lymington river for the purposes of constructing an impact assessment of the new ferries; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions have been brought for breaches of slaughterhouse regulations in each of the last five years. 
|Number of cases|
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many reports his Department received of breaches of regulations governing slaughtering practices in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Breaches of regulations involving the welfare of animals at slaughter or killing on farm are investigated by Animal Health on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The number of breaches that were reported to Animal Health in each of the last five calendar years were:
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|