HC Deb 09 February 1977 vol 925 cc719-20W
Mr. Adley

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the de facto advantage enjoyed by Danish and Dutch pig producers, relative to their British competitors, caused by the current value of the green pound and its relationship to the national currencies in the three countries; and by what percentage their advantage has been reduced by his recently announced subsidy to British pig producers.

Mr. Bishop

The monetary compensatory amounts applied to pigmeat exported to the United Kingdom from other member States of the Community are calculated from the EEC intervention price for pigmeat. The payment on imports of Danish bacon is, for example, currently £237 a tonne. We estimate that these payments are approximately twice as high as they would be if the basis of calculation were changed so as to take account only of the impact which the green currency arrangements have on the cost of cereals to Community pig producers and thus on their relative costs of production. The recently announced temporary subsidy for United Kingdom pig producers was set at a level which took account of the effect that the present monetary compensatory amount system has on their returns and the need to protect their incomes so as to halt the sharp decline in the United Kingdom pig herd. The subsidy and my right hon. Friend's commitment to continue to work for a reduction in the pigmeat mcas has been welcomed by the industry.