To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will outline the procedures for reviewing research and development in agriculture, fisheries and food.
There are regular reviews of all areas of R and D work, which draw on advice from research consultative committees consisting of representatives both from the industries concerned and from the scientific community. These report to a priorities board, under an independent chairman, which then advises Ministers.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which organisations will be consulted about the review of research and development in agriculture, fisheries and food.
The normal review procedures outlined in my reply to the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Mcleish) on 19 November at column 656, involve consultation with a wide range of organisations and individuals in the areas concerned. The additional examination of "near market" work is part of the more general process of policy formation and will not involve any formal consultation outside agriculture Departments, though we shall be seeking views on an informal basis.