asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on recent consultations he has had with the Wine Standards Board.
Since the establishment of the Wine Standards Board of the Vintners' Company there has been regular consultation with my Department, and the board has recently submitted to the Vintners' Company and myself a report covering its activities in the first twelve months of operation up to 31st August 1974. The report shows that the board has made rapid progress in exercising the supervisory functions assigned to it by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, under the European Community regulations for wine. The functions of its inspectorate cover the bottling and wholesale stages of the distribution chain and thus complement those of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise at port of entry and the consumer protection duties of local enforcement authorities at the point of retail sale. The report reflects great credit on the members of the board and its staff and indicates the valuable contribution made by the Vintners' Company in setting up the Wine Standards Board. I have arranged for copies of the report to be placed in the Library of the House.