asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much fruit has been purchased during 1979 by the United Kingdom Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce; at what cost; and how this fruit has been disposed of.
Community support arrangements for fresh fruit do not provide for intervention purchasing, but for the payment of compensation to producers' organisations withholding produce from the market when prices fall to low pre-determined levels. From 1 January to 16 November 1979 8,431 tonnes of apples were withdrawn under these arrangements. £161,002·57 has been paid in compensation in respect of 4,503 tonnes; claims in respect of the balance are still awaited. Of the total, 6,047 tonnes have been destroyed, 1,311 tonnes have gone for animal feed, and 18 tonnes for human consumption; the remainder has yet to be accounted for. During the same period 1,757 tonnes of pears, all of which have been destroyed, were withdrawn from the market; claims are still awaited.