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Dairy Products (Surpluses)

Volume 33: debated on Monday 6 December 1982

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what methods are being used to dispose of surplus dairy products; and if he will consider directing that priority be given to reduction in the maximum retail price of milk and the provision of cheaper butter.

Measures currently in operation for encouraging the consumption of dairy products include:

  • (a) For butter there are subsidised sales to non-profit making organisations, such as schools and old peoples' homes, as well as to the Armed Forces, and to food manufacturers for use in some foodstuffs. There is a general butter subsidy on butter sold retail in the United Kingdom, and currently there is the special sale of butter from stocks.
  • (b) For skimmed milk there are several schemes to aid the use of skimmed milk and skimmed milk powder in animal feed; and the is also an aid for the manufacture of liquid skim into casein and caseinates.
  • In addition to these schemes, there are arrangements for the export of milk products. I attach particular importance to the general consumer subsidy for butter which, in the United Kingdom, is fully financed by the Community.So far as liquid milk is concerned, in setting the maximum retail price I take full account of the need to maintain consumption. In addition, there is a subsidy for school milk, and some milk products, which I am pleased to have been able to extend as a result of the negotiations on agricultural prices earlier this year.