asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food how many cwts. of decayed or un-saleable green and root vegetables from Covent Garden or Spitalfields markets were sent to salvage depots as pig swill or refuse dumps as manure during the months of April, May and June; and what action he has taken during the period to eliminate the principal causes of such waste?
Apart from normal market sweepings, only negligible quantities of green and root vegetables have been sent from Covent Garden and Spitalfields markets to salvage depots for pig swill or as refuse. To eliminate the causes of vegetable waste the transport authorities have co-operated to reduce transit times; there have been diversions to less well supplied markets; and growers have been encouraged to slow down their rate of marketing.
Is my hon. Friend aware that a computation has been made during the last few weeks by a group of buyers of considerable experience that over 40,000 cwts. of good edible vegetables have been wasted in these two markets and that the cause in their opinion is the out-of-date marketing system? What action is the Ministry taking to deal with some of the allegations made in the other House a few days ago?
The calculations to which my hon. Friend refers cannot possibly be accepted as accurate, because I can tell him that the total weight of the vegetables sent for processing—not for pig swill or refuse—during the three months April, May and June was 25,000 cwts. and not 40,000 cwts, for the few weeks to which he referred.