HC Deb 01 March 1977 vol 927 c132W
Mr. Gould

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what arrangements are being made to ensure that the consumer interest is fully represented in the forthcoming common agricultural policy price negotiations.

Mr. Hattersley

In his presidential statement on 28th January, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food made clear that the Council of Agriculture Ministers has a responsibility not only to those producing and supplying food, but also to consumers of food, to counter inflation and to ensure that the shopping basket is reasonably priced. To underline our concern that the consumer interest is fully taken into account, my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection will also be attending the Council during the price negotiations.

In addition, my right hon. Friend met representatives of United Kingdom consumer organisations to discuss the Common Agricultural Policy on 11th January. I understand that Commissioner Gundelach discussed agriculture policy with members of the EEC Consumer Consultative Committee on 4th January. I have written to Commissioner Gundelach urging him to consult consumer representatives as well as producer interests in the course of the current price fixing negotiations.