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Livestock Marketing

Volume 22: debated on Monday 19 April 1982

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will bring forward proposals for a sectoral or regional programme of projects for the improvement of livestock marketing in England in order to meet the European Economic Community criteria for the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund grants under European Economic Community regulation 355/77.

Regulation 355/77 is due to expire in December of this year. If the European Commission issues proposals for a new scheme on similar lines to the present one, the coverage of our existing sectoral programmes will then be reviewed.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why livestock markets in England and Wales are not eligible to qualify for aid under the European Economic Community farm fund—the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund—1982 grants for projects which improve the condition under which agricultural and fish products are marketed and processed; and if he will make a statement.

Funds available under regulation 355/77 for the improvement of marketing and processing of agricultural and fisheries products are extremely limited. Member States are accordingly required to draw up sectoral or regional programmes for priority investment areas, and only projects falling within those programmes are eligible for aid. For the meat sector in England, programmes exist for red meat slaughterhouses and for pigmeat processing. These were identified as priorities after consultation with the appropriate producer and processor interests. Priorities vary between different parts of the United Kingdom and in Wales livestock markets are eligible under the Welsh livestock programme.