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Volume 86: debated on Thursday 14 November 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will list in the Official Report the proportion of the United Kingdom sugar quota production used for (a) traditional food uses and (b) biotechnology in each of the last five years.

Information on the use of United Kingdom sugar quota production for food and biotechnology purposes is not available. However, the following table shows total production within quotas, total consumption of sugar and the use of sugar by the chemical industry. The United Kingdom market is also supplied by sugar refined by Tate and Lyle and by imports from other member states.

Production within quotaTotal consumptionTonnes (white sugar equivalent used in the chemical industry*

Source: MAFF, EC Commission.

* Only sugar used in the chemical industry which has received a production refund has been included.

† July-June years.

‡ Forecast.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration was given to potential advances in biotechnology involving sugar when drawing up the United Kingdom sugar beet quota; and whether he will make a statement.

The United Kingdom's beet sugar quota, like those of other member states, was derived in 1981 from production during a reference period and not from consumption or potential consumption. The Agriculture Council is currently considering Commission proposals to maintain all existing sugar quotas for the next five-year period, commencing on 1 July 1986, and to supply reduced-priced sugar to the Community's biotechnology industry. The potential increase in uptake of sugar due to advances in biotechnology is one of a number of important considerations to be taken into account during the present quota negotiations.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will list in the Official Report the sugar quota for each producer-member of the European Economic Community in each of the last five years; and whether he is satisfied that the latest quota for the United Kingdom is sufficient to supply sugar for traditional food uses.

Annual sugar quotas for each member state since 1981–82 have been as follows:

A QuotaB Quota
Overseas Departments436,00046,600·0
United Kingdom1,040,000104,000·0
The United Kingdom quota and ACP raw sugar refined here provide sufficient supplies for traditional food uses. In addition, we import about 120,000 tonnes of white sugar from other member states and export a corresponding amount of domestically produced white sugar to third countries.