HC Deb 22 January 1981 vol 997 cc217-8W
16. Mr. Body

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement about the future of the existing cane sugar refineries in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Walker

Tate and Lyle has announced today that the cane sugar refinery at Liverpool will be closed in the near future. The company says that closure has been brought about by a combination of factors: the decline in its traditional export business; the expansion of domestic beet production under successive Governments; the impact of imports of white sugar from other countries of the European Community; a steady fall in the United Kingdom demand for sugar. The structure of its refining business is of course a matter for the company. But I fully expect that the company will have the capacity to refine all except 60,000 tonnes of the 1,160,000 tonnes of ACP sugar that it has been refining, and that it will assist the ACP countries in ensuring that this will be refined elsewhere in the Community.

34. Mr. Parry

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consultations he plans to have following his recent meeting with the Tate and Lyle action committee, Liverpool.

Mr. Peter Walker

I was glad to meet the members of the Tate and Lyle action committee, Liverpool, and recognised their concern about the future of the refinery there. My hon. Friend the Minister of State and our officials have also been in touch with other parts of the United Kingdom sugar industry which have an interest in this country's refining capacity for both beet and cane. However, the decision on whether to retain the Liverpool refinery is for Messrs Tate and Lyle.

Forward to