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Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she has taken to prevent traditional English varieties of apple from dying out. [114267]

Defra owns the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent and supports the conservation and scientific direction of the collection at a cost of some £280,000 per annum.The collection is a rich genetic resource, containing over 2,300 different varieties of apple as well as other top fruit and stone fruit and material from the collection is available to researchers and breeders. Research on the collection—including that on traditional varieties—is also made widely available.