§ Mr. Bill Michie
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if it is intended to privatise any of the wholesale fruit and vegetable markets in Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ryder
I announced in February that, in considering the options available on the future of Covent46W Garden market, I was commissioning an independent commercial feasibility study into the possibilities of privatisation. Work on this will commence this month.
I have also received a joint discussion paper from the National Farmers' Union and the National Federation of Fruit and Potato Trades about the privatisation of local authority wholesale fruit and vegetable markets. The issues raised are extremely complex and need careful consideration. I cannot at present give any indication of the likely response.