§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what alternative methods of supporting the market are to be used by the European Economic Community Commission in place of intervention buying of butter.
§ Mr. Gummer
The Council regulations modifying the intervention regime in the dairy sector provide that, in the event of permanent intervention being suspended, buying in by intervention agencies may continue on the basis of competitive tenders and that other measures will be taken to maintain market stability. There is also provision for support measures for other dairy products such as cream. It is up to the Commission, taking account of the advice of the milk management committee, to decide what action is appropriate. By way of illustration, the Commission has suggested that existing schemes for the disposal of intervention stocks could be adapted to apply to current production. For butter, this would include sales to non profit-making organisations, concentrated butter for cooking and use in food manufacture.
§ Mr. Walters
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the per capita butter consumption of the United Kingdom in the last year for which figures are available; and what percentage of this butter was produced in New Zealand.
§ Mr. Donald Thompson
Consumption of butter in the United Kingdom is estimated at 5 kg per capita in 1985. The quota for imports pf butter from New Zealand was equivalent to 28 per cent, of United Kingdom consumption in that year.