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Mr. Meacher: The Government are committed to the importance of energy efficiency as a highly cost-effective way of achieving our climate change goals, for example through the climate change agreements, the energy efficiency commitment, our forthcoming CHP Strategy, and our support of the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust. We recognise that a great unrealised potential still remains and the Department will develop new strategies for realising this in the future.
Mr. Meacher: The Government support the Common Position on the Sixth Environmental Action Programme, which calls on the Commission to develop thematic strategies on the sustainable use and management of resources and on waste recycling. This will include measures aimed at ensuring the collection and recycling of priority waste streams.
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19. Joyce Quin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent contact she has had with her Polish counterparts regarding the agricultural chapter of Poland's EU enlargement application. 
Margaret Beckett: I visited Poland on 13 and 14 January and had one-to-one meetings with the Agriculture Minister and the Environment Minister. I encouraged Poland to play an active and constructive part in preparing itself for EU membership, congratulated the Government on reaching a conclusion on the environment chapter and stressed the importance of maintaining the implementation and enforcement programme.
Mr. Meacher: The Department is developing, in close collaboration with DTI and other Departments, a draft CHP strategy, which will set out the measures needed to achieve the CHP target of at least 10,000 mega watts of Good Quality CHP by 2010. We aim to issue the Strategy for consultation shortly.
Alun Michael: Public houses can act as important community assets in rural areas, sometimes offering a range of products and essential services to the local community. Since we published the Rural White Paper a year ago we have implemented a range of measures and provided extra funding to support rural pubs and other village services. Through the Countryside Agency we encourage mutual support between various services in rural areasincluding post offices, village halls, local shops and pubsto help improve their chances of remaining viable.
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36. Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the proportion of organically produced food consumed in (a) the UK and (b) other EU countries which is imported; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: UK producers' share of the organic market varies widely between different products but it is estimated that overall imports account for about 70 to 80 per cent. of the value of organic food sold in the UK. We do not have information on the position in other EU countries.
Albert Owen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will outline the subsidies available to encourage farmers to become organic farmers; and what subsidies are available in other EU member states. 
Mr. Morley: Under the England Rural Development Programme, support is granted over five years at varying amounts depending on the type of land for conversion to organic farming. Total payments over five years range from £50 to £450 per hectare. In addition, farmers are offered three lump sum payments totally £600 towards the cost of training.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what (a) regional and (b) local strategies her Department is pursuing to inform consumers about the availability of organic produce; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Morley: We have already made considerable support available to encourage conversion to organic farming, which has increased the quantities of UK organic produce available. The Action Plan for organic farming, which we will be developing with stakeholders in the light of the recommendations of the Policy Commission, will address all aspects of the organic food market.
25. Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures will be taken this year to consult local communities over the locations of farm scale evaluations of GM crops. 
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Mr. Meacher: The Department will announce the proposed sites for the spring 2002 farm scale evaluations six weeks before the first seeds will be sown, to allow people more time to find out about the FSEs in their area. Advice and information will be provided to all relevant councils. Farmers participating in the evaluations have been encouraged to discuss their plans with their neighbours.
Mr. Morley: The current industrial action by staff in the Department who are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) began on 20 August 2001. Since that date 16,201 working days have been lost due to strike action.
Mr. Meacher: NETA is a matter for Ofgem and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. I have met the CHP industry, including the Combined Heat and Power Association on a number of occasions, and at these meetings have heard first hand the effect NETA is having on CHP generators. I have not received representations on the operation of NETA in relation to renewables.
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