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Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will hold discussions with his EU counterparts on the consistent application of EU legislation on agriculture across all member states. 
Jane Kennedy: The Secretary of State and other DEFRA Ministers hold regular discussions with our EU counterparts and the Commission on a wide range of subjects, including the application of agricultural legislation across the Community.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps the Government has taken to ensure that producers of agricultural goods receive a fair price for their goods. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 3 February 2009]: Government believe that the setting of the price of agricultural goods is a commercial matter to be resolved by private negotiation, which should take place within the parameters set by competition law. The market must determine prices.
The Government are monitoring the effects of the current economic climate on food supply chain businesses in the UK to assess whether price reductions are passed down to consumers, with farmers also receiving fair prices, and will continue to bring public pressure to bear where appropriate. The Government have also urged large companies in the food supply chain to pay their suppliers promptly.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 316W, on agriculture: subsidies, how much was given to each of the 10 claimants. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 5 February 2009]: The following table lists the 10 individuals and/or organisations that received the highest subsidies available under all schemes under the common agricultural policy for the European financial year 2008, which runs from 16 October 2007 to 15 October 2008.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many claims were made for investment aid for young farmers under the Rural Development Fund in each of the last three years; 
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 316W, on agriculture: subsidies, under which common agricultural policy schemes payments were made to each listed recipient. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what expenditure is funded under EU budget line 05 02 08 11, Aid to Producer Groups for Preliminary Recognition; and which UK bodies have been granted an award under this budget line from the 2008 budget. 
Jane Kennedy: Funding, which is co-financed by the member state, is available to Producer Groups in order to encourage greater co-operation in the fresh fruit and vegetables sector and to help such groups to attain, during a transitional period, the full recognition criteria for the Producer Organisation scheme which attracts a higher level of funding. Aid is given to Producer Groups to help facilitate their administrative operations and for capital investments such as shared harvesting equipment or storage/packing facilities.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which UK (a) projects and (b) programmes have been funded under EU budget line 05 02 04 01, Programmes for Deprived Persons in 2008; what percentage of each programmes funding was funded from the EU budget; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The UK has not participated in the EU Programme for Deprived Persons (Food for the Needy Scheme) since 1998. The UK Government decided collectively to cease their participation in the scheme because of the generally low levels of intervention stocks and because there was a lack of interest in the scheme, primarily due to the bureaucratic procedures that apply in order to reduce the risk of fraud. In short, the Government concluded that the Scheme did not represent good value for money.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the effects of bovine tuberculosis on (a) income and (b) employment in the farming sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: No specific estimates of the effects of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) on income and employment in the farming sector have been made. However, the impact of bTB on the farming sector is of concern to the Government and DEFRA has funded a project to investigate the longer-term effects of a bTB breakdown on farm businesses. This work includes looking at income and employment. The final report will be published on the DEFRA website once peer review is complete.
Bennett, RM and Cooke, RJ (2006). Costs to farmers of a tuberculosis breakdown. Veterinary record 158:429-432.
DEFRA's testing and slaughter policy has been in place for a number of years and significant steps have been taken to supplement this including: introduction of a zero tolerance regime for overdue tests; changes to the compensation system; pre-movement tests for cattle moving from high risk herds; and the extension of the use of the gamma interferon test; as well as encouraging good husbandry practice.
Huw Irranca-Davies: Although information on the nationality of candidates is collected as part of the recruitment process, the nationality of members of staff is not held electronically and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Huw Irranca-Davies: Each quarter the Office for National Statistics provides information on the number of people employed by Government Departments. The latest published Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey statistics are for 30 September 2008, and are available at:
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of the public appointments for which his Department is responsible are due to be (a) renewed and (b) filled in the next 24 months; what the (i) remit, (ii) salary, (iii) political restriction, (iv) eligibility requirement and (v) timetable for each appointment is; and what records his Department keeps in respect of such appointments. 
The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment will be seeking to recruit four new members
Inland Waterways will be seeking to appoint three to four new members
The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew will be seeking to appoint a new chair and two new members
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution will be seeking to appoint two new members
The Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) will also be seeking a new chair and five new members. Recruitment for 19 VPC members is currently under way. The details of this campaign and four others which are also in train are available on DEFRAs website at:
The remit, salary, political restrictions, eligibility requirements and timetable for these posts will be agreed
prior to recruitment campaigns starting. These posts will be subject to the requirements of the OCPA regulatory regime.
In addition Natural England, the Joint Nature Conservancy Council and the Sustainable Development Commission will all be seeking to recruit new members in the forthcoming year but numbers and roles have not yet been confirmed.
The process for making a public appointment, including guidance on political activity and eligibility criteria, follows the Cabinet Office publication Making and Managing Public Appointments. For appointments regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, the appointments process also complies with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies. Copies are in the Libraries of the House.
Jane Kennedy: Local authorities in England no longer have centrally imposed statutory targets on recycling and composting. This is consistent with Government policy to give local areas more freedom and flexibility on how they deliver national objectives.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether waste collection authorities are indemnified for making household waste collections on private roads. 
Jane Kennedy: Section 46(5)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) requires waste collection authorities to ensure that arrangements have been made as to liability for any damage arising out of receptacles being placed on a highway.
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