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Volume 76: debated on Monday 1 April 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he can make of the percentage of European Economic Community intervention butter that was purchased by commercial retail organisations.

It is unlikely that commercial retail organisations will have purchased butter originating from intervention stocks except under the EC special sale scheme. 142,800 tonnes of intervention butter was made available at the end of 1984 in the Community under this scheme. This is equivalent to 14 per cent of Community interventions stocks of butter in the week that the EC commission regulation authorising the special sale entered into force. This butter was initially made available to packers and importers who are obliged to sell it for direct consumption and in general it will have been sold through commercial retail organisations.