HL Deb 16 December 1986 vol 483 cc160-1WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What attempts they made to secure exemption from the EC cereals co-responsibility levy for partnerships consisting solely of farmers who store, process and compound their own grain on a partnership site which is then returned to their individual farms and fed to their own livestock; why these were not successful and of how many such partnerships they are aware.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Belstead)

In applying the cereals co-responsibility levy, the Government's aim has been to minimise distortions, both within and between member states. No data are available on the numbers of particular types of partnership within the United Kingdom, but it is clear that exempting grain processed by partnerships or co-operatives would have increased distortions among cereal and livestock producers. Exemption of co-operative operations would also have discriminated against the United Kingdom, since our co-operative sector is among the smallest in the Community.