HC Deb 29 October 1985 vol 84 cc414-5W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many tons of beef were covered by the recent decision of the management committee in Brussels to offer beef for sale at 18p per pound; and what information he has as regards the amount sent to individual nations under this arrangement.

Mr. Jopling

I think my hon. Friend has in mind European Commission Regulation 2670/8 of 23 September. This made certain intervention beef available to exporters at an average price of 1,540 ecu per tonne (about 43p per lb). It is understood that the Commission believes that contracts to purchase some 175,000 tonnes are likely under this regulation, and that the most likely destination for the meat is the Soviet Union. If this were the case, export restitutions worth an average 995 ecu per tonne (about 28p per lb) would be payable.

The Government continue to press for suitable action to be taken under the common agricultural policy to curb surplus production, and meanwhile to argue that surplus stocks should be disposed of as economically as possible. We also press for intervention beef to be made available for use within the Community as appropriate and on 24 September the Commission made a regulation which releases certain beef to EC processors at special prices.