Neil Parish raises dairy farming and fisheries with the Minister

Neil Parish MP has used Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Parliamentary Questions ask the Minister about the use of fishmeal for agricultural purposes.

Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): I believe that the discard ban is absolutely right, although it will obviously take some time to get its implementation right. What will be done about fish that are landed and may or may not be fit for human consumption, but could be used as fish food, or even for farming purposes?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (George Eustice): We are discussing that with processors and port authorities, but we believe that we have enough processing capacity to create fishmeal, although there may be problems with transport from the ports to the locations where the fishmeal is processed. We want to change fishing behaviour, and to reduce the amount of unwanted fish that is landed by means of more selective gears and changes in fishing patterns.

Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 12 March 2015, c386)

Later on in the same debate Neil Parish asks the Minister what steps the government is taking to help dairy farmers get access to finance from the banks.

Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): I welcome the Secretary of State’s help for dairy farming through exports, public procurement and general support, but what talks has she had with the banks? I think milk prices will improve, but the banks need to support farmers in the meantime.

George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes an important point. There will be short-term cash-flow pressures on farmers who are currently receiving low prices and in some cases have quite high costs. I have had a meeting already with the banks to discuss this and to encourage them to show forbearance. As the Secretary of State said earlier, we have also been encouraging HMRC to show forbearance to those farmers facing difficulties, and I will continue to monitor the issue closely.

Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 12 March 2015, c397)