Catalogue description Records of Arable, Crops and Cereals

Details of Division within MAF
Reference: Division within MAF
Title: Records of Arable, Crops and Cereals

Registered files relating to cereal, wheat, sugar, and potato production which have each been the responsibility of a wide range of food divisions.

The records relate to:

Date: 1930-2012
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 17 series
Administrative / biographical background:

The Board of Agriculture and Fisheries established a Wheat Section in 1915 to deal with questions relating to imported wheat and flour supplies. Its functions were transferred to the first Ministry of Food in 1917. Meanwhile a Royal Commission on Wheat Supplies had been set up under the chairmanship of the Earl of Crawford in October 1916. State concern with the supply of cereals re-emerged in the Wheat Act 1932, which established an independent Wheat Commission to administer a deficiency payments scheme on wheat, the first such scheme to be introduced for a farm crop. The main functions of the commission were suspended in September 1939, when the second Ministry of Food became the sole state agency for trading in foodstuffs, and its powers then remained in abeyance until it was dissolved in January 1955. A Crops, Feedingstuffs and Subsidies Division was set up after the Second World War as a successor to Supplies Division I and was responsible for policy in these fields.

A new home grown cereals deficiency payments scheme was introduced in 1954 and was administered by the Home Grown Cereals Division first of the Ministry of Food and after 1955 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which was also responsible for cereals marketing policy. A separate International Cereals Division dealt with international grain problems, including matters relating to the import of cereals, and also dealt with British relations with the Council of Europe Committee set up in 1958 to look at the protection of regional names in the production of wine and spirits. In 1970 the two divisions were amalgamated to form a single Cereals Division. A Home Grown Cereals Authority was established under the Cereals Marketing Act 1965 to improve the marketing of cereals. Following the introduction of the European Community schemes to set aside arable land from production (to reduce surpluses and to extend bio-diversity in arable areas) the division was renamed the Cereals, Set-Aside and Extensification Division in 1989 (from 1992, the Cereals and Set-Aside Division), from which time it dealt with all aspects of set-aside policy, and additionally with policy relating to rice.

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