19.4.02

Minister for Rural Affairs 19.4.02


Business and Livestock Insurance


Alison Halford:

What percentage of livestock farmers in Wales currently have insurance to protect their business and livestock, and what is being done to encourage them to take up such insurance? (WAQ17208)

Carwyn Jones:

Insurance contracts between farmers and insurers are commercial transactions and no details are kept centrally. Work is ongoing within the European Union and the UK is currently considering the possible options. This work is in the early stages and is not expected to come on-stream for a number of years.

Pricing by Supermarkets

Alison Halford:

What action is the Minister taking to combat the adverse effects that aggressive price cutting policies by the large supermarkets have on our rural economy? (WAQ17210)

Carwyn Jones:

Responsibility for the supermarkets code of practice rests with the Department of Trade and Industry. The Secretary of State announced on 18 December 2001 that she had accepted legally binding undertakings from the UK’s major supermarkets to abide by the code of practice governing relations with their suppliers. The code entered into force on 17 March 2002. I wrote to Lord Whitty on 24 January asking for his support in seeking a review of the code’s effectiveness. The Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food, which reported earlier this year in respect of England, recommended that there should be a review two years after the introduction of the code. It is the intention of DEFRA, together with the Assembly Government, to discuss this proposal with all the interested parties.

Genetically Modified Crops

 

Alison Halford:

Will the Minister make a statement on the implications for Wales of the results of a recent EU study into GM crops, which found that they had contaminated local organic farms? (WAQ17211)

Carwyn Jones:

There are no implications for Wales. The National Assembly for Wales has set in force statutory separation distances to prevent contamination of organic crops by genetically modified organisms. There are no Welsh locations in the programme of farm-scale evaluations of herbicide tolerant genetically modified crops, and there is no commercial growing of GM crops in the UK.

 

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