|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Morley: We believe that it is important to continue to integrate environmental considerations into fisheries management. The Commission have already indicated that reduction in the bycatch of cetaceans is a priority.
Ms Quin: The Government announced in September 1999 and March 2000 substantial aid to the livestock industry--on top of the £1 billion in normal subsidy payments made to UK livestock producers each year.
£1.6 billion over seven years will also be made available under the England Rural Development Programme and with natural advantages such as an abundance of grass, good breeding stock and a wealth of technical expertise at their disposal, the Government believe livestock farmers--including those in Northumberland--should have a successful future.
Mr. Morley: My right hon. Friend the Minister announced a substantial increase in the Countryside Stewardship budget last December. As part of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP), £500 million is being allocated to the Scheme over the next seven years. During this period, MAFF aims to add 525,000 hectares of land to the 210,000 hectares already covered by the Scheme.
Mr. Morley: Our plans for a major expansion of the Stewardship budget are well known. As part of the England Rural Development Programme, £500 million is being allocated to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme over the next seven years to 2006-07. This means that there will be around £16 million available each year for new agreements and we will be able to offer more than double the number of agreements offered in previous years.
16 Nov 2000 : Column: 780W
Ms Drown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many successful applications have been made to the organic farming scheme since May 1997; and how many were made in the previous five years. 
Mr. Morley: Aid for conversion to organic farming has been provided since 1994, first under the Organic Aid Scheme and from April 1999 under the Organic Farming Scheme. There were 158 successful aid applications prior to April 1997 and 1,567 successful applications since that date.
Ms Quin: Forecasts of farm incomes in the United Kingdom, for the year ending February 2001, including incomes on cereals farms and general cropping farms, will be published at the end of January 2001. More detailed information will be available in the next edition of "Farm Incomes in the United Kingdom" which will be published in March 2001. There is no doubt, however, that UK arable farmers face very difficult trading conditions which is why my right hon. Friend the Minister has announced that a further £34 million in agrimonetary compensation is to be paid to arable farmers, subject to European Commission approval. The extra money will provide valuable assistance to the arable sector at an exceptionally difficult time.
Ms Quin: Supply chain relationships are a theme of the Agricultural Forum, where Ministers meet key figures from all points in the food chain including retailers and horticultural producers, among others. The Forum last met on 6 July and will meet again on 23 November, when the food chain will be one of the key issues on the agenda.
As part of the Government's Action Plan for Farming, the major retailers, facilitated by the IGD, have developed a voluntary code of best practice in commercial relationships with trading partners. The Competition Commission has also recommended that a Code of Practice should be established which would put relations between supermarkets and their suppliers on a clearer and more predictable basis. Supermarkets with more than 8 per cent. of the market would have to give legally binding undertakings to comply with the Code. My right
16 Nov 2000 : Column: 781W
Mr. Morley: The Fisheries Departments in the UK spend over £24 million a year on monitoring, control and surveillance. A number of steps have been taken to strengthen enforcement including the introduction of satellite monitoring, prior notification of landings and designated port arrangements for larger vessels and the implementation of more rigorous controls over the landing and sale of fish agreed by the Council of Ministers in 1998.
Mr. Morley: I visited the area on 1 November and sympathise greatly with all those affected. In common with elsewhere in the Country, the Environment Agency issued timely flood warnings and co-operated with the emergency services and local authorities, in this case the London Borough of Redbridge, to provide all possible assistance. The Agency has been asked to report on the flooding throughout the Country once the immediate effects of the flooding have been dealt with.
Ms Quin: The Agriculture Wages Board last increased minimum rates of pay for full time standard and casual workers, including those in the horticulture sector, in June of this year. The Government also announced that the Agriculture Wages Board would continue to operate for at least another five years.
Mr. Goggins: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what role the North West Regional Development Agency is playing in the implementation of the Rural Development Plan for England. 
Mr. Morley: The North West Regional Development Agency is a member of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) Regional Programming Group (RPG) for the North West. RPGs for each region have a strategic role in guiding the implementation of the regionally targeted schemes in accordance with the aspiration and goals in the Regional Chapters of the ERDP.
16 Nov 2000 : Column: 782W
(b) action teams, (c) policy reviews and (d) other temporary advisory bodies with external members currently in existence within his Department; and on what date each body (i) was set up and (ii) is expected to terminate. 
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will list each group that is responsible to his Department, with significant and plural membership from outside the Civil Service, and to which the Nolan rules on non-departmental public bodies do not apply; and for each such group if it (a) is a private company, (b) is a charity, (c) has no formal legal basis and (d) has some other legal basis, giving details; 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|