HC Deb 10 February 1977 vol 925 cc760-1W
Mr. David Hunt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the shortfall between supply and demand in the home-produced potato industry in 1977.

Mr. Bishop

The quantity of potatoes available for human consumption from the home crop this season is about 1¾ million tonnes less than the usage in 1974–75 when the supply position was relatively normal.

Mr. David Hunt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of potatoes consumed in the United Kingdom in 1975 and 1976 was imported; from which countries; and in what amounts.

Mr. Bishop

The relationship between home-produced and imported supplies is more meaningful in terms of potato crop years than calender years. The figures published in the White Paper on the Annual Review of Agriculture 1977 (Cmnd 6703), indicate that the percentages of total supply used for human consumption provided by imports in 1974–75 and 1975–76 were:

Raw potatoes Processed potatoes (raw equivalent)
Early Per cent. Maincrop Per cent. Per cent.
1974–75 3 1
1975–76 6 7 8
The percentages in the current crop year are expected to be broadly the same as in 1975–76. Most of our maincrop imports in 1975–76 and 1976–77 have come from the Nertherlands with Cyprus, Egypt, Spain and the Canary Islands supplying most of the imported new potatoes. A more detailed breakdown of the quantities of potatoes and potato products imported is published in the Overseas Trade Accounts of the United Kingdom.

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