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Food: Prices

Volume 494: debated on Monday 22 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the provisions of the Common Agricultural Policy on food prices in the UK in the latest period for which figures are available. (277099)

The principal market provisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)—Market Price Support (MPS) and the use of tariffs—artificially raise the price of food above global agricultural market prices.

We can calculate an estimate of the UK consumer cost of the Common Agricultural Policy by comparing the difference between UK and world prices for agricultural products and applying the difference to the volume of UK consumption. On that basis our latest estimates suggest that the UK consumer cost of the CAP was approximately £3.48 billion in 2006. This works out as an additional cost per head of UK population of £57.