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Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the liquid whole milk equivalent volume of (a) imports and (b) exports of milk-based products in each of the last three years. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 4 July 2006]: It is not possible to provide overseas trade estimates for the different milk products in liquid milk equivalent. It is a complex calculation which can lead to double counting as different components of liquid milk can be used to manufacture different products. The following table shows the UK trade in milk products in tonnage and value for 2003 to 2005.
H M Revenue and Customs
Data prepared by Trade statistics, Agricultural Statistics and Analysis Division, DEFRA 2005 data is subject to amendments
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the sustainability for dairy farmers of the price paid to them for milk. 
Dairy farmers are currently facing a number of challenges, including farmgate prices. In line with the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food, the Government are working alongside the industry to facilitate and support its future development. For
example, the Dairy Supply Chain Forum is providing information to help the dairy industry make informed decisions about its future in a world with much freer trade and lower prices
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average price per litre paid to (a) farmers, (b) purchasers and (c) supermarkets for milk was in each month in each year since 1997. 
(c) Prices are derived from the Expenditure and Food Survey and are for the top five shops (in terms of value of food and drink purchased) as identified in this survey. Prior to 2001-02 this information was collected as part of the National Food Survey and cannot be broken down by retail outlet in this way.
|Supermarket price (liquid wholemilk)||Farmgate price (including bonus payments)|
|(1) Pence per litre.|
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the water industry regarding proposals for a national water grid; and if he will make a statement; 
The production and maintenance of water resources management plans will become a statutory requirement under the Water Act 2003. A consultation on the proposed water resources management plans regulations was held between 31 January 2006 and 25 April 2006. The consultees included water companies. The new regime will commence in April 2007.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the environmental impact of palm oil production in Malaysia. 
Ian Pearson: Palm oil is used in many processed foods as well as cosmetics and detergents. It can also be used to produce biodiesel transport fuel. For this reason, demand is high and may be contributing to the destruction of virgin forest in Malaysia and Indonesia. Environmental groups have highlighted in particular the impact this may be having on Orang-utan populations.
The Government are very conscious that increasing consumption of goods and services in the UK can have environmental and social consequences overseas. It is for this reason that DEFRA is commissioning research work on the environmental impacts of internationally sourced commodity production in general.
Specifically, the Government are also encouraging industry to sign up to the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which is developing a globally acceptable definition of sustainable palm oil production.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which Private Members Bills were drafted by his Department in each Session since 1997; and which subsequently received Royal Assent. 
Barry Gardiner: Members will consider a range of possible subjects before introducing their Private Members Bills. Government draftsmen do draft some Bills in advance which are available as one of the options for Members to consider before they make their selection. However, Members may make subsequent amendments or revisions to a Government drafted Bill, or use it as the basis for a Private Members Bill in the future.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of whether there was any element of
maladministration on the part of the Rural Payments Agency in its failure to pay the bulk of the 2005 single farm payments by the end of March 2006. 
Barry Gardiner: The assessment my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Margaret Beckett) made on learning that the bulk of payments would not be made by the end of March was that there was an urgent need to strengthen the leadership of the Rural Payments Agency. The subsequent appointment of Mark Addison and then Tony Cooper as interim chief executive has lead to the position reported by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 22 June 2006, Official Report, column 1478, that, as of 20 June, some £1.38 billion, representing more than 90 per cent. of the total fund, has now been paid to more than 100,000 applicants.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the performance of employees of the Rural Payments Agency; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: Most representations have been along the lines of those made by Peter Kendall, President of the National Union of Farmers who, after visiting a Rural Payments Agency office in April, stated that
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