HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 cc719-20W
Mr. Whittingdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the impact of the introduction of the Single Farm Payment on fruit growers; and if she will make a statement; [166024]

(2) what recent assessment she has made of the impact of her proposed Single Farm Payment proposals on the future viability of orchards and fruit growers. [166448]

Alun Michael

Fruit growers were generally not eligible for the subsidies which are to be replaced by the single payment. Our proposals extend eligibility for the single payment to land which is used to grow soft fruit. Single payments cannot be made anywhere in the European Union in respect of land under permanent crops, which include orchards.