§ Mr. Speller
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set quality and content standards that will allow the traditional British sausage to be exported to the European Community and other countries in Europe which at present prohibit the import of United Kingdom sausages on content, quality or labelling grounds.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Richard Ryder)
The British sausage is a traditional product designed for the home market. It is enjoyed here, and I see no reason why changes should be made to it. I know that the product is enjoyed elsewhere in the EEC, and I hope that the export activities of our sausage manufacturers and retailers will mean that this is increasingly the case.
§ Mr. Speller
Is my hon. Friend aware that this is Food from Britain year and that the best British meal is the British breakfast? Is he also aware that the British banger is a part of that, but under our current legislation less than one-third of a pork sausage needs to be pork and only 25 per cent. of a beef sausage must be beef? If we are to succeed in Europe, as we should, and as our meat producers wish, we require a standard which makes the word follow the name so that beef is beef and pork is pork, and never the content shall be rubbish.
§ Mr. Ryder
The Ministry is in regular touch with the trade interests concerned. We have not been informed of any insurmountable difficulties encountered by manufacturers or retailers in marketing the product in the EEC. If any such difficulties are brought to our attention we shall pursue the matter at once with the relevant authorities.
§ Mr. Haynes
Is the Minister aware that we produce the finest bangers in the world? Is he also aware that when foreigners come here from abroad they like British bangers and mash? It is high time that the Minister made it clear that that is the position so we do not have stupid questions like this one.