Select Committee on European Communities Eleventh Report


A. GENERAL POLICY QUESTIONS

23. REPORT NO. 2 FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL ON THE APPLICATION OF THE EARLY MARKETING AND THE CALF PROCESSING SCHEMES IN THE BEEF SECTOR, (10934/97); AND A PROPOSAL FOR A COUNCIL REGULATION AMENDING REGULATION NO. 805/68 ON THE COMMON ORGANISATION IN THE MARKET IN BEEF AND VEAL

Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to Lord Donoughue, Minister for Farming and the Food Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

  At a meeting on Wednesday of last week, Sub-Committee D of the European Communities Committee considered the above proposal and lifted its scrutiny reserve.

  The Sub-Committee agrees with Her Majesty's Government that CPAS is a far more effective scheme than EMS and is disappointed that the Commission's second report has failed to recognise this. The Sub-Committee does not understand how the Commission's analysis can have so dramatically altered in the space of months. The Sub-Committee urges the Government to continue pressing for the Community-wide application of CPAS.

  Of immediate concern is the potential shortage of domestic beef. The Sub-Committee would be grateful to know how the Government hopes to prevent this eventuality and what negotiations with Community institutions are in hand.

19 November 1997

Letter from Lord Donoughue, Minister for Farming and the Food Industry, to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee

  Thank you for your letter of 19 November 1997 informing me that the scrutiny reserve on the above proposal has now been lifted.

  I can confirm that we will continue to press for the Community wide application of the Calf Processing Premium Scheme (CPAS). Unfortunately, however, this is not a realistic goal as most Member States favour the Early Marketing Scheme.

  You raised concerns over a potential shortage of domestic beef later in the year. Current estimates suggest that supply of British beef will be about 3 per cent below last year's figure. This is based on the assumption that a proportion of calves entering the CPAS would otherwise have been fattened for beef, and the first of those calves would have come onto the market late this year. However, it is unlikely that there will be any shortage whilst the strong pound attracts beef from other Member States and the Republic of Ireland continues to have problems accessing Third Country markets.

  It may also be worth noting that we are still receiving tenders for intervention purchases and further purchases are expected in the coming year. This would suggest that there will continue to be a surplus of beef on the domestic market.

2 December 1997


 
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