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25 Feb 2004 : Column 442W—continued

Ivory Trade

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the proposed sales of ivory stockpiles do not conceal illegal trade. [154618]

Mr. Morley: The decision to allow this one-off sale of ivory stockpiles was taken at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Chile in November 2002. One of several very strict pre-conditions which must be met before any sales can take place is that the CITES Secretariat must be satisfied that the importing countries are able to effectively regulate their domestic ivory trade to prevent any illegal ivory from entering into these markets. We will therefore be working in co-operation with the EU member states and other CITES parties to make sure that this, and all the other strict conditions, are met in full before any sales are allowed to go ahead.

Large Combustion Plant Directive

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how she will implement the Large Combustion Plant Directive; and if she will make a statement. [155005]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 25 February 2004]: We have received a range of comments on the Regulatory Impact Assessment that was published in June 2003 with other consultation documents regarding the implementation of the Directive. We are continuing to assess the potential economic impact on UK industry of the introduction of the Directive, using both internal

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analyses and independent research. We are also in detailed dialogue with industry to help us to understand their views as expressed in response to consultation.

We expect to make an announcement about our plans for implementation of the Directive as soon as possible after the further analysis has been completed and evaluated.

Meat Imports

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) beef and (b) lamb was imported into the United Kingdom from countries outside the EU in each of the last three years. [155096]

Alun Michael: The following table shows the level of (a) beef and (b) lamb/sheep meat and meat products imported into the United Kingdom from countries outside the EU in each of the last three years for which 12 months data is available.

UK imports of beef and lamb/sheep meat from non-EU countries, 2000–02

Commodity200020012002
type/countryt'000(1)£ milliont'000(1)£ milliont'000(1)£ million
Beef
Brazil6695741067298
Argentina10196112439
Uruguay9199141527
Botswana6171131618
Namibia620929725
Others14381229820
Beef total111208121220131227
Lamb/sheep
New Zealand851637115577179
Australia122010201329
Others231325
Lamb/sheep total991868217791213

(1) Product weight.

Source:

HM Customs and Excise.


Migrant Workers (Cockle Industry)

Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to tackle the illegal exploitation of

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migrant workers in the cockle industry, with particular reference to improving co-ordination with the Home Office. [154634]

Alun Michael: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is one of the departments which participates in Operation Gang master. This multi agency initiative which also includes the Home Office Immigration Service, is designed to collate intelligence and to sponsor joint operations against those gang masters who break the law while operating in the informal economy. This includes the provision of labour to the cockle industry.

Government Departments also undertake individual compliance activity against illegal working. In this context the Immigration Service has conducted three operations with other agencies since June 2003 targeted at illegal working in the cockle industry in the Morecambe Bay area.

The Government are currently considering the details of the Gang master (Licensing) Bill presented by the hon. Member for West Renfrewshire (Jim Sheridan) as a private members bill. This provides for a licensing scheme which would, if introduced, regulate the activities of gang labour providers in the agriculture and related sectors.

Milk

Albert Owen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of milk imports to the UK came from Poland in the latest period for which figures are available; and what percentage of UK consumption this represents. [154892]

Alun Michael: Trade information up to November 2003 has been received by Defra from Customs and Excise. From January 2001 to 30 November 2003, there are no recorded imports of liquid milk from Poland.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much milk was imported in the last three years, broken down by country of origin; and what percentage of the total milk processed in the UK this was in each case. [155332]

Alun Michael: The following table shows (a) UK imports of milk and (b) percentage of total new UK supply, split down by country of despatch for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.

UK imports of milk, 2000–02

200020012002
Countryt'000(2)Percentage of totalnew UK supplyt'000(2)Percentage of totalnew UK supplyt'000(2)Percentage of totalnew UK supply
Irish Republic620.4560.4270.2
France90.1100.1110.1
Germany200.1120.160.0
Denmark260.2100.110.0
Belgium70.140.020.0
Netherlands00.010.020.0
Others20.000.000.0
Total1260.9930.6490.3

(2) Product weight.

Source:

HM Customs and Excise/Defra.


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Ministerial Visit

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she last visited a grouse moor in an official capacity. [154724]

Mr. Bradshaw: Within the last year I have visited three grouse moors; Ilkley Moor, in August, Brendon Hills in September and the Chilterns in December. I have also accepted an invitation to visit another moorland estate later this year.

Organic Farms

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many organic farms there were in (a) Lancashire and (b) Chorley in each of the last three years. [151204]

Mr. Bradshaw: As of March 2003, there were 44 organic farms in Lancashire, of which two were located in Chorley. It is not possible to comment on the number of organic farms in each of these areas prior to this date since the Department has only just started to collate this information.

The following table does however show the number of organic farms who were benefiting from aid under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) in each of the years 2001, 2002 and 2003:

Organic farming scheme

LancashireChorley
2001292
2002292
2003282

The OFS is an entirely voluntary agri-environment scheme which provides financial help during the conversion period to help farmers make the move from conventional to organic farming methods. From 30 May 2003, the OFS was re-launched with an optional option i.e. a maintenance option, which offers payments to all existing organic farmers to encourage the continued management of the land in an environmentally beneficial way.

Public Bodies

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who the members of the (a) Joint Nature Conservation Committee and (b) Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee were on 1 January; what their term of office is in each case; and whether they are remunerated. [151803]

Mr. Morley: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Joint Nature Conservation Committee

NameTerm of OfficeRemuneration (£)
Acting chair
Professor David Ingram1 April 2002 to31 March 200534,765
Members
Professor Peter Doyle1 April 2003 to31 March 20068,536
Professor Richard Pentreath1 April 2003 to31 March 20068,536

(b) Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee

The appointments of the members of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee expired on 31 December 2003 and an announcement will be made shortly regarding the future of the committee.


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