Published:

7 comments

Chicken_and_the_eggParliament isn’t just a place to score political points. Written questions are supposed to serve as a way for MPs to glean important information. The following question from James Paice, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, has received an interesting answer:

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) wheat, (b) barley, (c) fresh vegetables, (d) potatoes, (e) fresh fruit, (f) beef and veal, (g) pork, (h) bacon and ham, (i) mutton and lamb, (j) poultry meat, (k) eggs and (l) liquid milk was produced by volume in England in each year since 1997. [229492]

Jane Kennedy: The figures are shown in the following table.

Volume of UK production
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Wheat

Th. tonnes

15,018

15,449

14,867

16,704

11,580

15,973

14,288

15,473

14,863

14,735

13,137

Barley

Th. tonnes

7,828

6,623

6,581

6,492

6,660

6,128

6,370

5,816

5,495

5,239

5,079

Vegetables

Th. tonnes

2,937

2,863

2,952

2,923

2,865

2,573

2,543

2,591

2,737

2,650

2,526

Potatoes

Th. tonnes

7,128

6,422

7,131

6,178

6,674

6,921

6,058

6,246

5,979

5,727

5,635

Fruit

Th. tonnes

292

278

347

307

331

294

269

294

363

392

398

Beef and Veal

Th. tonnes

698

695

679

704

645

694

703

724

765

852

888

Pork

Th. tonnes

884

921

823

716

595

614

569

577

574

575

617

Bacon and Ham

Th. tonnes

242

240

243

224

217

216

214

211

214

209

185

Mutton and Lamb

Th. tonnes

342

373

392

383

267

307

310

319

336

332

328

Poultry meat

Th. tonnes

1,527

1,548

1,549

1,514

1,566

1,557

1,578

1,571

1,585

1,517

1,460

Eggs

Million dozen

903

883

842

817

861

856

843

892

884

853

825

Milk

Million litres

14,420

14,218

14,587

14,079

14,291

14,448

14,587

14,139

14,062

13,933

13,660

Source:
Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2007, DEFRA

Of course there are lots of political implications here, not least in relation to the fact that yields have fallen in several areas. And we might ask why the Government’s answer showed UK-wide statistics, when Mr Paice asked about production in England alone.

But it’s also interesting – and sort of cool – to know that British hens laid 9,900,000,000 eggs last year. Isn’t it?!

UPDATE: The Scottish Conservatives have recently conducted a task force on food security, and published a report. It was edited by John Scott MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & the Environment, and can be found here.

7 comments for: Farm production in the UK

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.