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Agriculture: Subsidies

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps the Government has taken to ensure that producers of agricultural goods receive a fair price for their goods. (253824)

[holding answer 3 February 2009]: Government believe that the setting of the price of agricultural goods is a commercial matter to be resolved by private negotiation, which should take place within the parameters set by competition law. The market must determine prices.

The Government are monitoring the effects of the current economic climate on food supply chain businesses in the UK to assess whether price reductions are passed down to consumers, with farmers also receiving fair prices, and will continue to bring public pressure to bear where appropriate. The Government have also urged large companies in the food supply chain to pay their suppliers promptly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 316W, on agriculture: subsidies, how much was given to each of the 10 claimants. (254570)

[holding answer 5 February 2009]: The following table lists the 10 individuals and/or organisations that received the highest subsidies available under all schemes under the common agricultural policy for the European financial year 2008, which runs from 16 October 2007 to 15 October 2008.

Individual/organisations

£

K G Growers

3,170,052.01

G's Growers

2,908,857.66

Farmcare Limited

2,641,415.83

The Berryworld Producer Organisation

1,943,996,51

Strutt and Parker Limited

1,493,340.64

The National Trust

1,348,898.74

Sir Richard Suttons Settles Estate

1,264,889.52

Lilburn Estates Farming Partnership

1,215,740.15

Blankley Estates Ltd

1,189,030.63

Fruition Producer Organisation Limited

1,186,619.38

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many claims were made for investment aid for young farmers under the Rural Development Fund in each of the last three years; (254827)

(2) what funding was allocated for young farmers under the Rural Development Fund in each of the last three years.

The measure which provides for support for setting up of young farmers is not being implemented in the Rural Development Programme for England.

Rural development funding is a devolved issue. Questions about the Scotland Rural Development Programme should be directed to the Scottish Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 316W, on agriculture: subsidies, under which common agricultural policy schemes payments were made to each listed recipient. (254829)

[holding answer 9 February 2009]: The information requested is shown in the following table:

Claimant

Scheme

KG Growers Ltd.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme

G’s Growers Ltd.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme

Farmcare Ltd.

Single Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme, Environmental Stewardship Scheme

The Berryworld Producer Organisation

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme

Strutt and Parker (Farms) Ltd.

Single Payment Scheme, Environmental Stewardship Scheme

The National Trust

Single Payment Scheme, Environmental Stewardship Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme, Habitat, Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Sir Richard Suttons Settles Estates

Single Payment Scheme, Environmental Stewardship Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Lilburn Estates Farming Partnership

Single Payment Scheme, Hill Farming Allowance, Environmental Stewardship Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Blankney Estates Ltd

Single Payment Scheme, Environmental Stewardship Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Fruition Producer Organisation Ltd.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Aid Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what expenditure is funded under EU budget line 05 02 08 11, Aid to Producer Groups for Preliminary Recognition; and which UK bodies have been granted an award under this budget line from the 2008 budget. (256101)

Funding, which is co-financed by the member state, is available to Producer Groups in order to encourage greater co-operation in the fresh fruit and vegetables sector and to help such groups to attain, during a transitional period, the full recognition criteria for the Producer Organisation scheme which attracts a higher level of funding. Aid is given to Producer Groups to help facilitate their administrative operations and for capital investments such as shared harvesting equipment or storage/packing facilities.

No UK bodies have been granted aid under this budget line in 2008 as the scheme is only applicable to Producer Groups in the member states which acceded the European Union on or after 1 May 2004.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which UK (a) projects and (b) programmes have been funded under EU budget line 05 02 04 01, Programmes for Deprived Persons in 2008; what percentage of each programme’s funding was funded from the EU budget; and if he will make a statement. (256102)

The UK has not participated in the EU Programme for Deprived Persons (Food for the Needy Scheme) since 1998. The UK Government decided collectively to cease their participation in the scheme because of the generally low levels of intervention stocks and because there was a lack of interest in the scheme, primarily due to the bureaucratic procedures that apply in order to reduce the risk of fraud. In short, the Government concluded that the Scheme did not represent good value for money.