§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many United Kingdom bacon factories have been closed since May 1979 and since January 1973, respectively; and if such closures have led to improved efficiency in the industry.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
Between 1973 and 1982, 118 bacon factories closed, a decline of 42 per cent., while between 1979 and 1982 the number closing was 35 (18 per cent). Over the ten years to 1982 bacon production28W declined by 30 per cent. I know that the bacon curing industry is trying to improve efficiency. That fewer factories are producing proportionally more bacon between them should help, since 1979 the United Kingdom share of the bacon market has remained at just over 40 per cent.