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19 Jan 2004 : Column 1015W—continued

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many firms are in dispute with her Department over payments for work carried out during the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease; what the total outstanding sum in dispute is; and for what reasons each payment is being withheld. [148646]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (Brian Cotter), on 6 January 2004, Official Report, columns 259–62W.

Livestock Farming

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the recovery of livestock farming in (a) Copeland and (b) Cumbria since January 2002; and if she will make a statement. [146503]

Alun Michael [holding answer 12 January 2004]: Other than the June annual Agricultural Census, which amongst other things records the number of animals present on holdings on the designated census day, no specific assessment has been made of the recovery of

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livestock farming in Copeland and Cumbria since January 2002. However, data from the Agricultural Census of June 2002 1 shows that in Cumbria there has been an increase in livestock numbers compared with June 2001, while in Copeland the position remained broadly similar. The details are as follows:

Recovery of livestock farming in Copeland and Cumbria since January 2002

Cattle and Calves
Sheep and Lambs


Pig data in Copeland have been omitted to prevent the disclosure of information relating to individual holdings.

1 June 2003 data is expected to be published in March.


Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the UK's raw milk production was in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and how this raw milk is processed, broken down by percentage. [148690]

Alun Michael: The following table provides information on the UK raw milk production and supply, and how this supply is then utilised for liquid consumption and the manufacture of products.

UK raw milk production and utilisation
Million litres

Calendar years
Supply and Use (a)
Total new supply14.22814,42014,25514,19414,25813,97314,23313,73813,94114,100
of which:
For liquid consumption6,806 (48%)6,765 (47%)6,922 (49%)6,838 (48%)6,748 (47%)6,739 (48%)6,853 (48%)6,768 (49%)6,761 (48%)6,756 (48%)
For manufacture7,0617,2986,9186,9347,0596,8216,9886,5506,7146,939
of which:
Butter (b)284 (2%)292 (2%)273 (2%)266 (2%)284 (2%)281 (2%)290 (2%)270 (2%)259 (2%)279 (2%)
Cheese3,267 (23%)3,248 (23%)3,182 (22%)3,348 (24%)3,371 (24%)3,257 (23%)3,297 (23%)3,032 (22%)3,568 (26%)3,449 (24%)
Cream (b)262 (2%)277 (2%)279 (2%)276 (2%)263 (2%)263 (2%)271 (2%)266 (2%)259 (2%)260 (2%)
Condensed milk (c)731 (5%)751 (5%)661 (5%)719 (5%)692 (5%)643 (5%)603 (4%)522 (4%)536 (4%)491 (3%)
Milk powder—full cream458 (3%)531 (4%)623 (4%)558 (4%)822 (6%)809 (6%)853 (6%)932 (7%)781 (6%)825 (6%)
Milk powder—skimmed1,437 (10%)1,567 (11%)1,422 (70%)1,322 (9%)1,146 (8%)1,101 (8%)1,123 (8%)889 (6%)663 (5%)973 (7%)
Other623 (4%)632 (4%)480 (3%)445 (3%)482 (3%)467 (3%)549 (4%)640 (5%)649 (5%)663 (5%)
Dairy wastage and stock change(15)(15)113 (1%)86 (1%)112 (1%)80 (1%)56 (-)91 (1%)132 (1%)98 (1%)
Other uses (d)(15)(15)301 (2%)336 (2%)338 (2%)333 (2%)338 (2%)329 (2%)334 (2%)307 (2%)

(15) Equals less than 0.5 per cent.


(a) Aggregated data from surveys run by Defra, SEERAD and DARDNI on the utilisation of milk by dairies.

(b) Includes the utilisation of the residual fat of low fat liquid milk production.

(c) Includes condensed milk used in the production of chocolate crumb and in the production of machine skimmed milk.

(d) Includes farmhouse consumption, milk fed to stock and on farm waste. Excludes suckled milk.

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Procurement Outsourcing

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her Department's procurement policy with regard to offshore IT and call centre outsourcing; whether her Department is outsourcing IT and call centre jobs to offshore companies; to which countries her Department has outsourced these jobs; how much her Department has spent on this outsourcing in each of the last two years; and how much has been budgeted for this purpose for the next two years. [147582]

Alun Michael: Consistent with the need to ensure fair and transparent procurement processes in line with legal obligations, the Department's procurement policy is to obtain value for money and protect the public purse. In evaluating any procurement decision containing any offshoring proposals, the Department will have regard to the net cost to the Exchequer.

Defra is currently conducting a procurement according to EU requirements to outsource its IT provision, and award of contract is expected in June 2004. The contract will be evaluated in line with the above policy and will also follow the latest Government guidance on tax planning and tax avoidance. It is expected that around 300 staff will transfer to the new supplier under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) 1981) arrangements.

There was no spend on off shore IT or off shore call centre outsourcing in 2002–03 and in the current year is nil to date. No sum has been budgeted for off shore outsourcing for the years 2004–05 and 2005–06.

Sheep Dips

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the latest advice is that she has offered to those who use organophosphates for sheep dipping. [148305]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 15 January 2004]: Since 1995 the sale and supply of OP sheep dips has been restricted to those holding a Certificate of Competence in the Use of Sheep Dips awarded by the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC). The training course run by the NPTC covers the use and handling of sheep dips before, during and after dipping.

In addition the Health and Safety Executive has issued to all sheep farmers an advisory leaflet on sheep dipping. This includes specific advice on the handling and use of OP sheep dips. This leaflet was last revised in 1998.

In November 1999 the VMD also distributed to all holders of the NPTC Certificate of Competence in Sheep Dipping an A4 laminated sheet highlighting the risks of exposure to OP concentrate. Agricultural merchants are required to supply copies of this advisory sheet to all purchasers of sheep dips, together with protective gloves.

Advice on the safe use and handling of each specific OP sheep dip product is also included on the product label. These were last revised when OP sheep dips were returned to the market in containers with fully enclosed delivery systems in 2001–02.

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Sugar Beet

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the annual sugar consumption in the United Kingdom she estimates is met by domestic sugar beet production. [148611]

Alun Michael: It is not possible to give an estimate of the percentage of the annual sugar consumption in the UK which is met by domestic sugar beet production. This is due to several reasons. Firstly, it is not possible to distinguish between exports of sugar produced from imported sugar cane and exports of sugar produced from domestic sugar beet. Secondly, not all sugar is consumed directly, it is also manufactured into many processed products. Although those processed products may be produced in the UK, they may not be consumed here.

However, the Department produces data on the annual total production of sugar (on a refined basis) from domestic sugar beet and supplies for the UK market. These figures are published annually in "Agriculture in the United Kingdom". Copies are available in the House Library or on the Defra website at The latest figures available are for 2002 and are provisional. A total of 1,390,000 tonnes of sugar were produced from sugar beet in 2002. The UK imported 1,309,000 tonnes of sugar and exported 487,000 tonnes of sugar. Thus, the total new supply of sugar available for use in the UK in 2002 was 2,212,000 tonnes (see Table 1 as follows). UK production as a percentage of new supply, which is the commonly used measure of self sufficiency, was 63 per cent. in 2002.

Table 1. Sugar production in the UK in 2002(16)

Calendar year 2002 (provisional)Sugar(thousand tonnes refined basis)
Imports from:
the EU186
the rest of the world1,123
Exports to:
the EU104
the rest of the world383
Total new supply2,212
Production as percentage of total new supply for use in the UK63

(16) Extracted from "Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2002"

(17) Sugar coming out of the factory in the early part of the new year is regarded as being of the previous calendar year's production.

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