HC Deb 07 March 1994 vol 239 c64W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action she is taking to ensure a level playing field in the market for blackcurrants in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Jack

The main competition for United Kingdom blackcurrant growers comes from Eastern Europe. Trade is governed by agreements between the European Community and Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. These provide for minimum import prices for fresh and frozen blackcurrants from these countries and were initially the subject of faulty implementing legislation by the Commission. Following strong pressure from the United Kingdom, including an intervention by my right hon. Friend the Minister with Commissioner Steichen, the legislation now reflects the Europe agreements and gives the Commission the power to manage the market as provided for in them.