Horticultural Products

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th December 1983.

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Photo of Mrs Marion Roe Mrs Marion Roe , Broxbourne 12:00 am, 15th December 1983

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what horticultural products produced in the United Kingdom are subject to a European Economic Community regime.

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

I congratulate my hon. Friend on her appointment to the Select Committee on Agriculture and say in answer to her question that all horticultural products produced in the United Kingdom are subject to a Community regime, but the main price support measures apply to a limited range of items.

Photo of Mrs Marion Roe Mrs Marion Roe , Broxbourne

What steps will the British Government take to ensure that our horticulture is protected when Spain and Portugal join the Community?

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

I am sure that United Kingdom horticulture will show its customary resilience in responding to competition from Spain and Portugal. We shall ensure that the transitional period is adequate to allow a smooth adjustment. The Government have recently demonstrated their determination to help the industry to adapt and compete effectively by providing increased incentives for energy-saving facilities in the glasshouse sector.

Photo of Mr John Wells Mr John Wells , Maidstone

Is my hon. Friend aware that considerable European funds are available for publicity for non-edible horticultural products? What intention does she have to assist our producers by providing not necessarily Government funds but a Government gesture of goodwill towards Food from Britain in its efforts to publicise non-edible products?

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

One of the priorities of Food from Britain is assistance in respect of pot plants. I assure my hon. Friend that we shall be studying carefully, in consultation with the industry, the Commission's forthcoming report on the non-edible sector and any proposals that may be made on the regime for cut flowers.