HC Deb 28 March 2003 vol 402 cc459-61W
Mr. Hood

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the outcome was of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council held on 17 and 18 March; what the Government's stance was on the issues discussed, including its voting record; and if she will make a statement. [104558]

Margaret Beckett

My noble Friend, Lord Whitty, Under-Secretary, represented the United Kingdom at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels on 17 and 18 March 2003. Ministers with agriculture and fisheries responsibilities in Scotland and Wales were also present.

The Council continued its consideration of CAP reform, addressing questions from the Presidency on the proposals for cereals, milk and rice and for rural development. The UK argued for bringing the EU closer to world market conditions; supported the lines of

£ billion
Exports Imports Trade Gap
2000 9.0 17.4 -8.4
2001 8.6 18.3 -9.7
2002 8.8 18.7 -9.9


2002 data are provisional and subject to amendment.


HM Customs and Excise Data prepared by Statistics (Commodities and Food) Accounts and Trade, ESD, DEFRA

Nick Harvey

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of cattle and sheep products consumed in the UK was produced domestically in each of the past 10 years. [104911]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 25 March 2003]: Data relating to the national origin of the actual products consumed is not available. However, it is possible to calculate the UK production as percentage of the total new supply for use in the UK (home production plus imports less exports). This will, naturally, result in figures being greater than 100 per cent. for those products where UK production exceeds home consumption.

Data are provided in the following table for cattle and sheep products for the 10-year period 1993 to 2002.

the Commission proposals for reducing support; but argued against the proposed extension of dairy quotas to 2015. On rural development, the UK argued for a redistribution of modulated funds that would be fair and forward looking; we reiterated the case for flat rate modulation of direct payments and urged the Commission to look for ways of increasing the funds available for rural development programmes.

The Commission updated the Council on the agriculture negotiations in the World Trade Organisation, noting that a second draft of the so-called Modalities paper was expected later in the week and that the EU remained ready to negotiate with trading partners. There was no discussion.

The Council reached a compromise on phasing out the use of the pesticide Aldicarb, permitting some specific uses in certain member states, including the UK, to continue until the end of 2007. The UK supported the proposal.

There were no substantive fisheries items on the agenda.

Under AoB, the Netherlands reported on its efforts to contain an outbreak of avian influenza. Portugal reported the discovery of certain illegal veterinary medicine residues in poultry. France reported on an initiative proposed by the President of France to improve agricultural trade relations between the EU and sub-Saharan Africa. France also drew attention to the impact of rising fuel prices on the fisheries sector.

In reply to Denmark, the Commission said that it would shortly propose amendment of the interim cod recovery programme agreed in December in respect of the definition of 'days at sea'. The definitive cod and hake recovery measures proposal would however be delayed, possibly until May.