HC Deb 08 February 1972 vol 830 cc1126-7
19. Mr. Terry Davis

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to explain to the public the new grading system for eggs.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

No decision has yet been taken about the date on which the E.E.C. egg grades will be introduced. but the Government have issued an explanatory booklet "The Egg Trade and the E.E.C." for people in the trade. The Government will ensure that the differences between the present grades and the E.E.C. grades are also explained to consumers before the change takes place.

Mr. Davis

Will the Minister confirm that some shops will begin to sell eggs in the five grades used in the Common Market based on metric weights as well as eggs in the four grades with which we are already familiar, that this change will take place before the official change-over, and that it will be very confusing to the housewife? Do the Government accept that there will have to be some publicity to make the difference clear to the housewife?

Mr. Stodart

Yes, I accept that. That is why I should like to make it clear that the booklet to which I have referred is available to anybody, free on request.

Miss Joan Hall

Will my hon. Friend tell us the advantage of having five grades instead of the three we have at the moment—large, medium and small?

Mr. Stodart

There are five grades here and there will be seven under the E.E.C. system.