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British Produce (Marketing)

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any further plans to promote the marketing of British produce; and if he will make a statement.

The Government attach particular importance to the improvement of marketing. For that reason we set up Food from Britain in 1983. FFB has spent about £15 million so far at home and abroad, most of it provided by the Government. In each of the three years from 1988–89 our contribution will depend on industry providing at least £3 million.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that we have excellent products in this country, but that traditionally we have fallen down on the marketing of them? Does he not believe that we could do still better?

I am sure that we could do better. Marketing is of great importance in the industry. It is in the market place that the farmer finds himself most at home. That is why I was pleased to see the excellent presentation of British food at the "Alimentaria" food fair in Spain, which is an increasingly important market.