HC Deb 06 March 1986 vol 93 c258W
43. Sir John Farr

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate the amount by which the price in the shops for mutton and beef has been reduced in pence per lb. by the variable premium system.

Mr. Gummer

At its maximum level (which applied for all but four weeks of 1985) the beef variable premium is worth 16.25p/kg on eligible carcases at the deadweight stage. This is equivalent to 10p to 10½p per lb at the retail level on beef from carcases which have benefited from premium.

So far as lamb is concerned, the rates of variable premium paid during 1985 ranged between 5.1p/kg and 84p.4/kg at the deadweight stage, with an average of 51p/kg. This would be equivalent to about 26p per lb at the retail level on lamb from certified carcases. Variable premium does not apply to mutton.

The actual effect on retail prices of the premium arrangements depends on butchers' pricing policies for various cuts and varieties of meat.