HL Deb 11 October 2000 vol 617 cc41-2WA
Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What changes in the criteria that the Intervention Board uses have been introduced to enable a more flexible approach to be taken, so that the maximum quantity of produce is redistributed rather than thrown away. [HL3922]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman)

The criteria governing the free distribution of fruit and vegetables are prescribed by EC regulation. There have been regulatory changes to the treatment of packaging and transport costs which have enabled the Intervention Board to adopt a more flexible approach.

The Intervention Board has been proactive in working with local authorities, councils and charitable organisations to improve the distribution of available produce. The aim is to enable larger quantities of produce to be transported to convenient regional points for collection by a network of smaller organisations. Uptake is however dependent upon the volumes of product withdrawn from the market and the willingness and ability of potential recipients to accept it.