HC Deb 19 February 1981 vol 999 cc441-2
10. Mr. Richard Page

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to improve the marketing of British agricultural produce.

Mr. Peter Walker

My marketing advisers have drawn my attention to many areas where there is a potential for improvement and I am pursuing these points with the interests concerned. I am following with interest the discussions within the industry on the possible need for a central body to encourage better marketing. I have instructed my Department, including the agricultural development and advisory service, to take full account of marketing considerations in all its work.

Mr. Page

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply, especially the commitment to a professional marketing service throughout the country. Does he agree that professional marketing is as important as producing the goods? Because of the wide and diverse nature of agricultural products, will he speed up the introduction of that body, bearing in mind the comments of one of his marketing advisers at the recent Oxford farmers union conference?

Mr. Walker

The result of the speech by one of my advisers is that a diversity of interests in food and agriculture have got together and formed a joint committee to consider the possibility of preventing unnecessary duplication and achieving a more effective use of their resources. I have made it clear that I should be interested to discuss the results of their conclusions.

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