|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office (Mr O'Brien), has now laid before Parliament the Conservation of Seals (England) Order 1999, which provides permanent close season protection for common seals and grey seals in an area stretching along the North Sea coast from the border between England and Scotland to Newhaven on the south coast. The order will come into force on 19 December to coincide with the expiry of the order laid in 1996.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): The Council unanimously adopted a strategy on environmental integration and sustainable development in the Common Agricultural Policy, in response to an initiative begun in the United Kingdom Presidency in 1998. It also unanimously adopted (Germany abstaining) measures to promote and provide information on Community agricultural products in third countries.
Under other business, my right honourable friend the Minister outlined the United Kingdom's strategy for dealing with tuberculosis in cattle and urged other member states to support the United Kingdom's position when this is discussed within the Bern Convention Standing Committee later this month.
Baroness Hayman: The Food Chain Group comprised senior figures from the National Farmers Union, Food and Drink Federation, British Retail Consortium, IGD (formerly the Institute of Grocery Distribution) and MAFF, under the chairmanship of a senior MAFF official. The group was invited to review the opportunities for working together and increasing understanding amongst the players in the food chain, and between the industry and consumers.
The group has reported to me on the challenges and opportunities facing the food chain. The report stresses the vital importance of a viable and competitive food chain and identifies the need for action by industry and government to underpin consumer confidence in the quality and value of our food. The key messages include calls to: enhance the dialogue between partners in the food chain; improve communications with consumers; strengthen consumer confidence; and understand and act upon consumer concerns. The need for joined-up help from the Government to improve the industry's competitiveness is also identified.
My right honourable friend the Minister has asked the Policy Issues Council of IGD, which has senior representation across the supply chain, to consider how industry could best take the issues forward. We intend to review progress next summer.
|Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|