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5 Dec 2002 : Column 944W—continued

Coffee Market

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to support the working of the international market in coffee. [83627]

Mr. Morley: The UK is a member, through the EU, of the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), a United Nations body established to, among other things, Xachieve a reasonable balance between world supply and demand on a basis which will assure adequate supplies of coffee at fair prices to consumers and markets for coffee at remunerative prices to producers . . . to facilitate the expansion and transparency of international trade in coffee".

A major plank of the organisation's current activity is a Coffee Quality Improvement Programme. Introduced on 1 October 2002, it requires exports of unprocessed coffee from member countries to comply with minimum quality standards. This should have a positive effect upon supply and demand and, in turn, producer prices. Discussions are also under way within the organisation about how exports of processed coffee should be dealt with.

The Government are also helping coffee growers to diversify, through our development programme, and promoting foreign investment and good regulatory frameworks in coffee-growing countries.

In a wider context, on the WTO front, we are committed to further liberalisation of markets, including significant improvements in market access and special and differential treatment for developing countries. This should also benefit coffee growers.

We are seeking to expand the trade opportunities of commodity-dependent countries through, for example, cutting import tariffs to reduce the negative impact of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Energy Efficiency

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what corrections to energy efficiency targets resulting from correction to baseline data she has discussed with sector associations; if she will specify the provisions of the umbrella agreements and underlying agreements under which such corrections are permitted; and what discussions or correspondence she has had with such associations concerning failure to meet such targets. [82869]

Mr. Meacher: The Secretary of State has discussed several variations to energy efficiency targets resulting from corrections to baseline data with sector associations. Further to my answer of 7 November, the agreements are to be varied to provide for corrections to targets resulting from corrections to baseline data. The text of the variation has not yet been agreed. The Secretary of State has yet to receive information from the sector associations about the performance of the facilities covered by the agreements during the first target period. Accordingly the Secretary of State is not yet in a position to ascertain whether there has been any failure to meet such targets.

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Enriched Laying Cages

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the cost to egg producers of a ban on the use of enriched laying cages in England; what plans she has to provide financial assistance to egg producers in the event of such a ban; and if she will make a statement. [84513]

Mr. Morley: A partial regulatory impact assessment was included in the public consultation about a possible ban on enriched cages and is being considered again in the light of responses received. The CAP regime for this sector is a light one and no grants are currently available.

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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received on a proposed ban on the use of enriched egg laying cages in England. [84508]

Mr. Morley: The Department has received over 1,000 responses to the public consultation from the general public, industry and animal welfare organisations.

Farm Holdings

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average size of farm is, broken down by (a) category and (b) region. [81146]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 20 November 2002]: The information given is shown in the table:

Average farm size in hectares by region and farm type—England 2001

Farm type
RegionCerealsGeneral croppingHorticultureSpecialist pigsSpecialist poultry
North East154.8217.78.514.545.2
North West101.675.75.710.222.0
Yorkshire and Humberside103.0159.96.721.011.9
East Midlands138.1150.87.612.98.0
West Midlands103.0140.012.413.411.3
East of England129.8153.18.814.29.5
Greater London99.981.25.524.413.8
South East174.5152.116.725.211.1
South West135.5100.19.215.411.9
Mixed pigs and poultryDairy—LFADairy—LowlandSpecialist sheep—SDASpecialist beef—SDA
North East20.670.181.9213.367.4
North West12.282.776.6108.237.7
Yorkshire and Humberside22.684.172.0115.235.4
East Midlands37.877.479.5126.845.4
West Midlands3.757.078.539.733.6
East of England15.
Greater London0.00.0117.50.00.0
South East3.50.0109.00.00.0
South West8.175.288.960.160.2
Mixed cattle and sheep—SDACattle and sheep—DACattle and sheep (Lowland)MixedOther types
North East198.174.556.2165.717.5
North West109.140.528.355.718.0
Yorkshire and Humberside109.950.324.783.49.7
East Midlands72.842.928.4109.96.5
West Midlands86.726.
East of England0.00.026.6102.08.8
Greater London0.00.030.581.113.6
South East0.00.033.4140.711.4
South West120.243.933.2101.98.5


1. The Xother types" category includes some holdings which are not currently undertaking any agricultural activity.

2. Farm type is designated by the predominant activity on the holding. This is calculated using the Standard Gross Margin (SGM). The total SGM for each farm is calculated by multiplying its crop areas and livestock numbers by the appropriate SGM coefficients and then summing the result for all enterprises on the farm. For example, if more than two thirds of a holding's total SGM is derived from cereals and other crops generally found in cereal rotations (eg oilseeds, peas and beans harvested dry and land set-aside) the holding will be put in the cereals farm type category.


June Agricultural and Horticultural Census

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Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what United Kingdom legislation will restrict the number of days at sea for fishing vessels capturing and landing cod from 1 January 2003; whether amendments to legislation are necessary to achieve Government objectives; and if she will make a statement. [85508]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 December 2002]: No decision has been made as to the means by which any limit on days at sea required by EU legislation would be implemented in the UK.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many qualified valuers were paid (a) per day and (b) per valuation during the foot and mouth outbreak. [84165]

Mr. Morley: During the foot and mouth outbreak, qualified valuers were paid on a per day basis, not on a per valuation basis. Therefore, the Department does not have a record of the number of valuers broken down into these two categories. There are a number of legal disputes with valuers who are claiming on a per valuation basis.

Herbal Medicines

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government are doing to control the sale of endangered animal parts for eastern herbal medicines. [85386]

Mr. Morley: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which regulates trade in endangered species of animals and plants, is strictly implemented in the UK under both European and National legislation. Medicines derived from species listed in the Appendices to the Convention need an import permit issued by my Department before they can enter the country. Permits will not normally be issued for products containing the most endangered species, which are listed on the Convention's Appendix I. As a result any products that are derived from, or even claim to be derived from, Appendix I specimens taken from the wild will not normally be allowed on sale in the UK.

CITES is actively enforced in the UK by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and the Police who work together with my Department, other Government Departments and certain non-governmental organisations in the Government's Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime. My Department produces general guidance on the Convention and maintains a dedicated website on CITES implementation in the UK. We have also worked with the enforcement agencies to produce specialist material including leaflets, posters and videos aimed directly at Britain's Chinese speaking community. We are also currently funding, with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), research into the use of alternatives to replace certain endangered species contained in traditional medicines.

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