HL Deb 15 January 1988 vol 491 c1508WA
The Earl of Onslow

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have yet completed their consideration of the implications of the European Community free food scheme.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Trumpington)

The scheme provides for member states to make available to designated organisations food from intervention stores for distribution to the most needy. The Government continue to believe that such a scheme is an inappropriate way of dealing with the surpluses, but they do not wish to deprive these UK citizens of having the possiblity of arrangements available to consumers in the Community as a whole.

The Government have therefore considered how the scheme could be applied in this country. We have decided to make butter and beef available, subject to Commission authorisation, in response to specific applications received from charitable or non-profit-making organisations which meet appropriate conditions. Quantities made available would be limited to amounts specifically authorised by the European Commission within the finance available. The Commission has said that up to about? 10 million-worth of product could be authorised for distribution in the United Kingdom in 1988. We have arranged for further details of the arrangements to be sent to the relevant representative bodies, and copies of this information have been placed in the Library of the House.