HC Deb 13 April 2000 vol 348 c495
8. Mr. Malcolm Savidge (Aberdeen, North)

What steps he is taking to improve co-operative working across the agri-food chain. [117738]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Ms Joyce Quin)

The Government are working in many ways, including in partnership with the industry, to improve levels of co-operation across the food chain. This approach was evident at the recent agriculture summit, when the industry committed itself to developing a code of best practice on trading relationships.

Mr. Savidge

Does the Minister believe that the agreements reached at that summit, not only on the code of best practice but on the clear labelling of superior British produce, will be of vital assistance to the food industry in my area of the north-east of Scotland and throughout Britain?

Ms Quin

Yes, indeed. My hon. Friend is right. Although it was important that at the summit there was a commitment to the code of practice, equally welcome was the boost given to better and more visible labelling by the National Farmers Union kitemark, which I hope will be successful. It seems that consumers are aware already that this is an important initiative, and the level of recognition of the scheme is already quite high.