HC Deb 10 November 1977 vol 938 cc194-5W
Mr. Marten

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why there is an import duty of £37 a tonne on North American hard wheats for United Kingdom bread making, when similar wheat is not produced in the EEC.

Mr. Bishop:

All imports of wheat from outside the EEC are subject to a variable levy to raise their price to the level of the threshold price. The main purpose of the levy is to maintain prices on the internal Community market at a level which will ensure an adequate return for the Community producer and provide a stable market within the Community for producers and consumers. Although there are quality differences between Community and North American strong wheat, the latter is competitive with EEC-produced soft wheat in so far as it can replace Community wheat in milling or breadmaking.