HC Deb 24 November 1927 vol 210 cc2058-9
64. Mr. LOOKER

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he is taking to promote the standardisation and grading of agricultural produce?


My hon. Friend is, I hope, acquainted with the Economic Series of Marketing Reports issued by my Department, in almost all of which will be found suggestions calculated to promote the standardisation and grading of agricultural produce. These reports have been supplemented by practical marketing demonstrations, both in agricultural and in industrial centres, which make a special feature of the processes and results of grading and standardisation. In certain cases, the Ministry has been able to assist, with advice or financially from various sources, including the Empire Marketing Board, organised attempts to supply the markets with graded home produce, with the intention that these attempts shall serve as demonstration centres on a commercial scale.


Is it not possible for the Ministry to arrange for prizes to be given at agricultural shows and other exhibitions of interest to agriculture, demonstrating the advantages of the grading of products?


I do not think that I can hold out any prospect that the Ministry will give prizes, but the movement is being taken up in a very encouraging way and perhaps prizes may be forthcoming from other quarters.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the increasing interest that is being taken in certain parts of the country in the grading of potatoes, and will he do his best to give such assistance as he can to the inquiries which are being made?


We have had at some of our shows demonstrations of the methods of grading potatoes, and I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend that it is a very promising movement on that side of the industry.


Cannot the Minister arrange for some form of restrictions of imported agricultural produce which is not graded in accordance with the high efficiency of our own produce?


That does not arise on this question.

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