§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make statement on trends in(a) farm gate and (b) retail prices of farm products over the last five years. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 5 March 2001]: Farm gate prices as measured by the index of producer prices for agricultural products declined 26.3 per cent. over the five years to December 2000. Retail food prices increased 3.9 per cent. over the five years to January 2001 compared with an increase of 13.9 per cent. for all items RPI. Agricultural commodities account for a relatively small proportion of the retail price of food, with most of the costs accounted for by processing and distribution.