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Volume 116: debated on Monday 11 May 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures the Government have taken since 1979 to promote the marketing of British agricultural produce.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 May 1987]: The Government established a new organisation, Food From Britain in 1983, to improve the marketing of our food and drink, both at home and abroad. Since then FFB has spent about £15 million mainly provided by the Government. On the home market FFB has established the foodmark quality assurance scheme which covers 22 products; mainly in the fresh and lightly processed sector. FFB is also encouraging the development of the speciality food sector and running the British food information service. In the export market FFB has concentrated on four key countries—Benelux, France, Germany and the United States of America. Promotions there have resulted in direct sales worth over £30 million in each of the last two years.The Government have also continued to make grants available towards the marketing costs of farming co-operatives during their early years.In addition to continuing general advice on marketing, there has been a substantial increase in the number of ADAS full-time specialists who can advise farmers or growers on marketing of their produce.