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Home-Produced Meat (Freezing)

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Food what steps he is taking to establish or increase refrigeration capacity in this country to store the increasing amount of home-produced meat fattened on grass.

Present restrictions on capital investment would prevent us from constructing new freezing plants for this purpose, but I have arranged to have some experimental work done with the limited facilities already available.

Now that we have a proper agricultural policy can we not expect more home produced meat? Is the Minister aware that farmers, appreciating the feedingstuffs supplies' position, are feeding and fattening their cattle off grass; that, therefore, more cattle are likely to be available in the seasons of the year when grass is growing; and that is a very important question for the future of agriculture?

I do not think that large-scale freezing has ever been done on a commercial basis in this country before, and it represents a very big capital expenditure item. However, other steps are being taken, such as the holding back of cattle at the height of the autumn flush, which I hope will have a very good effect.