HC Deb 13 February 1984 vol 54 cc36-7W
Mr. Gregory

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what quantities and values in European currency units and pound sterling equivalent of butter were used in the European Community to subsidise the biscuit industry in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983; and how his consultations are progressing with regard to the European Community extending this facility to the confectionery industry.

Mr. MacGregor

I regret that the information on the quantity and value of subsidised butter used in the biscuit industry is not available. The total quantities of subsidised butter used throughout the European Community in the manufacture of cakes and pastries, including biscuits, in the four most recent years were as follows: 1980—108,125 tonnes, 1981—104,998 tonnes, 1982—106,390 tonnes and 1983—135,249 tonnes.

The Commission has proposed that the current subsidy scheme should be amended so that the use of butterfat in additional products could be subsidised. I understand that the Commission has in mind including sugar confectionery in any extension.