§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps were taken after 1974 to introduce more effective and economical support arrangements for(a) olive oil and (b) durum wheat; and how much was spent directly and indirectly on support in each case in (i) 1974 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available together with figures for EEC production, imports, exports and consumption.
§ Mr. Jack
The information is as follows.
(a) Olive oil:
- 1. In order to ensure more effective control, requirements were introduced in 1975 to establish a register of olive groves and in 1984 to set up control agencies. A maximum guaranteed quality (MGQ) was introduced in 1987 so that the rate of aid is reduced proportionately if production of olive oil exceeds the MGQ. The regime is due for reform in the near future.
- 2. The total net cost of the regime to the EC budget in 1974, with two producing member states, was 135.8 million units of account, £69 million using a conversion rate of 1.9615 units of account =£1, and the cost for 1994, with five producing member states, is estimated at 1819 mecu,£1,405 million using a conversion rate of 1.2945 ecu =£1.
- 3. The table shows estimated production, consumption, imports and exports of olive oil in the EC.
1974 (000 tonnes) 1992–93 Marketing year November-October (000 tonnes) Production 1477.0 21,379 Imports 1216.5 257 Exports 119.4 2146 Consumption3 674.1 1,290 1 Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation. Figures for EC9 2 Source: European Commission figures. Figures for EC 12 3 Consumption=production+imports-exports (i.e excluding stock changes)
b) Durum wheat:
- 4. During the late 1980s EC policies were adopted moving the emphasis away from price support in the form of intervention, export refunds and import levies towards payments in the form of an area-based production aid, restricted to producers in 'traditional' durum growing areas. The 1992 CAP reform measures continued these changes through the introduction of a single set of institutional prices for all cereals set at the lower common wheat level, and a phased three year cut in those prices to be compensated for by producer payments under the arable area payments schemes. Because the introduction of single institutional price level meant a bigger drop in support for durum than for other cereals certain durum growers continue to receive a special production aid.
- 5. The total cost of durum wheat support to the EC budget in 1974 was 82 units of account (£42 million at a conversion rate of£1=1.9615 units of account) and the provisional cost for 1994 is 568 mecu (£ 439 million at conversion rate of£1= 1.2945ecu). These figures exclude intervention support costs (including export refunds) in 1974 and Arable area payments in 1994, neither of which are separately identifiable from the total cereals expenditure.
- 6. The figures for EU production, imports, exports and consumption are as follows:
Durum wheat 1974–75 (July–June)1('000 tonnes) 1993–94 (July–June)2('000 tonnes) Production 3,388 7,034 Imports 1,498 183 Exports 320 2,297 Total domestic usage 4,111 6,328 1 Euro stat Supply Balance Sheet covering nine member states. 2 Commission balance sheet 23 June 1994 covering 12 member states.