HC Deb 28 October 1994 vol 248 c893W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total cost to the European Union of subsidies to tobacco farmers in the EU; how many farmers benefit; in which countries; and how much they are paid.

Mr. Jack

The latest estimate of Community expenditure on the tobacco sector for 1994 is 1,807 mecu or £839 million1. It is estimate that 200,000 families are directly involved in tobacco growing within the Community, and up to four times as many indirectly. Tobacco production occurs in seven member states: Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany and France. Community expenditure in each of these in 1993, the latest year for which a breakdown of figures between member states is available is as follows:

Mecu £ million
Belgium 10.00 7.9
Germany 43.91 34.5
Greece 548.02 430.5
Spain 109.64 86.1
France 68.95 54.2
Italy 370.23 290.9
Portugal 14.40 11.3
Total 1165.15 915.3

Mrs. Lait

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much tobacco grown in the EU is consumed in the EU; and how much goes into intervention or is destroyed, in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr. Jack

The latest estimate for the 1993 harvest shows that the Community produced 337,968 tonnes of tobacco, imported 417,493 tonnes, exported 209,738 tonnes and consumed 545,723 tonnes. There is currently about 13,320 tonnes in intervention from the 1993 harvest and before. Intervention is not available for harvests after 1993. There are no Community provisions allowing the destruction of subsidised tobacco.