§ Mr. Pardoe
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take to re-establish confidence among beef producers; and if he will make a statement about the future of the beef régime.
§ Mr. Peart
In my statement to the House today I outlined the impact on the beef sector of the changes in the representative rate of sterling. I also said that I intended to announce the scale of the monthly target prices for the beef premium scheme for the five months to the end of the current marketing year272W at the end of February 1976. The scale will be as follows:
£ per live cwt. 1975: 29th September to 2nd November … 21.90 3rd November to 30th November … 22.40 1st December to 4th January … 23.50 1976: 5th January to 1st February … 24.60 2nd February to 29th February … 25.75
These prices take account of the decisions concerning a change in the representative rate for the pound sterling taken by the Council of Ministers at their meeting on 21st-22nd July. The seasonal scale of target prices will continue to increase next year until the normal peak in May. In addition, assuming that the present beef arrangements continue, there will be a further increase in our intervention price of at least£1 per live hundredweight when we take the next transitional step towards the common guide price at the beginning of the 1976–77 marketing year.
These increases in support levels will considerably benefit those producers who are able to delay marketing their cattle until the spring. It is important that this fact should be reflected in the autumn sales of calves and store cattle.
Beef producers now have the full protection of the premiums and I have made clear my intention that the Community shall continue to provide satisfactory arrangements for beef. Producers can therefore look to the future with confidence.