§ Lord Carter
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How the statutory duties in relation to the promotion and development of co-operation in agriculture, as set out in the Agricultural Act 1967 (which were previously the responsibility of the Central Council and Horticultural Co-operation, but transferred to Food From Britain in 1983), are now being implemented in practice, and what steps are being taken to measure the results achieved by Food From Britain in fulfillng these statutory duties.
§ Baroness Trumpington
Food From Britain (FFB)'s objectives in relation to the promotion and development of co-operation in agriculture are to enhance the strength of existing co-operatives and to assist in the establishment of new co-operatives where appropriate; to demonstrate the advantages of co-operation to all farmers in all sectors; and to encourage enterprise among farmers. To achieve this they support the Agricultural Co-operation Training Council, encourage achievement of Master of Busines Administration qualifications by farmers; promote the inclusion of non-executive directors from outside farming on the boards of co-operatives and provide a full advisory service for marketing co-operatives.
In addition, FFB act as agents for the Ministry in the administration of the Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation Scheme. Direct measures of the success of a body that is organising, promoting, encouraging, developing and co-ordinating co-operation are difficult to establish but assessments of performance are carried out from time to time in terms of the number of co-operatives established with FFB assistance and the turnover, market share, market influence etc. which they achieve.