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Volume 29: debated on Thursday 28 October 1982

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has received any representations about possible termination of doorstep milk deliveries in the United Kingdom as a whole or in the South East in particular.

I have received many representations from individuals and organisations all over the country, including some from the South East, expressing concern that doorstep deliveries of milk should continue. The Government recognise the value of this unique service and are committed to doing all that they can to ensure that it is maintained.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the percentage of milk sold for domestic use which is delivered to the housewife at the doorstep; what is the estimated percentage of milk sold at supermarkets and shops; what is the percentage of milk sold in the United Kingdom for domestic use which has been imported from France; what is his Department's policy regarding milk imported for sale in United Kingdom shops; and if he will make a statement.

My Department does not collect statistics on sales of milk by outlet. I understand that a sample survey carried out on behalf of the National Dairy Council in mid-1982 indicated that 86 per cent. of milk sold for domestic use was delivered to the doorstep, 6 per cent. was sold through supermarkets and 8 per cent. was sold through small shops and other outlets.In the absence of agreed health and hygiene standards throughout the Community the sale of milk imported from other member States is effectively prevented by our health and hygiene regulations.