Skip to main content


Volume 404: debated on Thursday 1 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the future of the Horticultural Development Council. [109179]

The Horticultural Development Council was established under the provisions of the Industrial Organisation and Development Act 1947, and is therefore subject to statutory review at five yearly intervals. The last review was completed in July 1999 when Agriculture Ministers agreed that the Council should continue for a further term. The next statutory review is due to be completed by July 2004 when a decision will be made on the continuence of the Council and any changes proposed to its covering legislation. As required by the Act, bodies representative of persons carrying out business in the horticultural industry, and organisations representing persons employed in the industry, will be consulted as part of the review.

There were no GM crop trials carried out in the winter of 2002–03 other than those in the farm scale evaluation programme and for the purpose of national seed listing trials.The following GM crop trials will be carried out in the UK during the 2003 growing season, these releases are for the purpose of small scale research and development trials (they are not part of the farm scale evaluations or for the purpose of national seed listing trials).

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what analysis her Department has undertaken to assess the impact on the UK horticulture industry of the EU proposals for decoupled agricultural support payments. [110012]

Our published economic analysis of the Commission's proposals for reform of the CAP indicates an overall economic benefit to the UK of about £500 million. We are in discussion with industry representatives about the impact on individual horticulture producers of the proposed new system.