5 May 1995

Cut down EUbeef storage

BRITAIN is campaigning for more EU cuts in beef intervention.

Geoffrey Hollis, head of MAFFs livestock group, revealed on Wednesday that the government was seizing every opportunity to persuade the European Commission to tighten intervention standards.

He told a House of Lords select committee that he did not think farmers had lost out through intervention price cuts and restrictions already introduced.

With beef intervention stocks down from the December 1992 peak of 1,090,000t to almost nil, now was the time for the commission to tighten up the rules.

MAFF is calling for further intervention price cuts, the exclusion of "U" grade carcasses from intervention across the EU, and beef intervention restricted to emergency buying in autumn.

The government also wants individual suckler cow premium quotas to be replaced by regional ceilings and for the 90-head limit under the beef special premium to be abolished.