HC Deb 26 June 1968 vol 767 cc419-20
7. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action the producer bodies have taken to persuade the public to buy home-grown food that is competitive with imported food; and what assistance his Department has given them.

Mr. Hoy

A great deal of publicity work is being done by the organisations concerned. I am sending the hon. Member some examples of material put out by the British Farm Produce Council which also mounts exhibitions in depart ment stores throughout the country. In addition, advertising campaigns for individual products such as bacon, cheese and eggs are mounted by the producer organisations.

My Department keeps in close touch with these organisations and gives them support and encouragement whenever possible.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Would the hon. Gentleman encourage his right hon. Friend to take more positive action in this matter? It is, after all, slightly ridiculous that advertisements for the "Lion" egg are on the hoardings at the same time as the British public are being encouraged to eat, with that "Lion" egg, Danish or Polish bacon?

Mr. Hoy

The hon. Gentleman must realise that we cannot prevent the Danes or Poles advertising in this country, just as we hope that they would not prevent us advertising in their countries. All we can hope to do is persuade our people that what we are producing is a first-class product which should get priority from them. Price-wise, I think that we are producing things which people should be consuming much more.

Mr. Gwilym Roberts

Would my hon. Friend not agree, however, that there is a strong case for the use of quotas here, particularly in view of Britain's strong marketing position compared to some countries like Denmark?

Mr. Hoy

That is travelling very wide of the original Question, which was about publicity. Quotas and levies are a different matter.