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Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in his Department's discussions with supermarkets on a voluntary scheme for country of origin food labelling. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA Ministers have raised the issue of country of origin labelling with the representatives of the main supermarkets. The supermarkets have agreed to comply with the Food Standards Agency's guidance on this issue.
The pigmeat and pigmeat products sector is of particular public concern. A sub-group of the Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force that was established by DEFRA in March to include all elements of the supply chain, is in the process of drafting an industry wide voluntary code of practice on origin labelling with the aim of implementing it early next year.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely prospects for financial viability in the hill farming sector in the next 10 years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Local Environment Quality Surveys for England since 2001 show that while there has been some improvement in that time nearly a fifth of areas surveyed still fall below satisfactory levels for litter and about a quarter of people surveyed admit to littering. Each year the Government funds the campaigning charity Keep Britain Tidy (£5 million in 2009-10) to raise awareness of the problem, campaign for changes in behaviour and offer technical support and advice to national, regional and local government.
Local authorities, who have a legal duty to clear litter from public places, have been given the powers they need to tackle those that litter, most recently through provisions in the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005. Information and guidance is provided to local authorities to help them to improve their enforcement and street cleansing services.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the average (a) farm gate price, (b) price given to processors and (c) supermarket price of a pint of milk in each of the last 12 months. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 19 October 2009]: The following tables show monthly UK farm gate and retail milk prices. No information is available on prices paid at all other points in the supply chain.
The farm gate price is calculated from monthly surveys of milk purchasers conducted in England and Wales by DEFRA, in Scotland by The Scottish Government Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate (RERAD) and in Northern Ireland by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development DARD. The farm gate price is the average price received by producers, net of delivery charges. No deduction has been made for superlevy.
|UK farm gate milk price|
|Units: pence per pint|
|UK average retail price of pasteurised whole milk|
|Units: pence per pint|
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress his Department has made on implementing its plans for a noise reduction strategy; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive (END) has been the Department's main focus of activity regarding noise. In meeting the requirements of the END, we are progressing Noise Action Plans, and this is helping to refine existing policy as evidence on the effects of noise continues to emerge. The Government are in the process of consolidating their longer term noise management policies, some of which can be found in the draft noise action plans, and determining how these could be best delivered.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will conduct a risk assessment of the extent to which the importation of dogs infected with echinococcus multilocularis might be increased if the requirement for treatment with Praziquantel under the Pet Travel Scheme were relaxed. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The European Commission's proposal for an 18-month extension to the derogation which allows the UK to operate its current pet movement controls also includes provisions for the control of other diseases, such as echinococcus multilocularis. The Government will need to conduct a risk assessment to assess UK exposure to the parasite if the requirement for Praziquantel tapeworm treatment is removed. Should the evidence justify it, this would form part of the case to retain current controls.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) English farming households and (b) households in rural areas with incomes below the low income threshold. 
(a) In 2007-08 for England, 25 per cent. of farm households were below the modified low income threshold (gross income before housing costs).
(b) In 2007-08 for England 18 per cent. of rural households were below the low income threshold (gross income before housing costs).
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to Project Reduce to undertake studies of the contents of household refuse containers in the last 12 months. 
Dan Norris: No funding for the undertaking of studies of the contents of households refuse containers has been provided by DEFRA to Project Reduce in the last 12 months. The Waste and Resources Action Programme had no involvement in this project.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what timetable
has been set for the Environment Agency to establish its new online waste data tracking system. 
Dan Norris: The Environment Agency is developing new web-based data reporting software called 'Generic Operator Returns'. This will provide a more efficient and up-to-date method for businesses to provide data to the Environment Agency. Following a successful trial implementation, external web data entry will be phased in from January 2010.
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